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It’s Not Too Much To Ask

Real change for aged care… it’s not too much to ask.

The ANMF is calling on the Morrison Government to make aged care a priority and announce laws that require staff ratios in every aged care facility. Without mandated minimum staffing levels and skills mix guaranteed to meet the care needs of residents right now, elderly Australians and their families will continue to suffer. It's not too much to ask.

We are asking all Australians to show their support for staff ratios in aged care and donate a small amount of time - 2 minutes, 5 minutes or 7 minutes - to send a message to the government asking them to mandate staff ratio laws in aged care now.

Go to itsnottoomuch.com and help aged care residents get the care they need and deserve.

How Australia can implement mandatory minimum staffing levels and skills mix in nursing homes

Recent evidence showed that the average Australian nursing home resident receives only 180 minutes of care per day including 36 minutes from registered nurses. The Royal Commission has found this insufficient to provide safe, quality care to residents. If current Australian staffing standards are mapped onto the US rating system, it reveals that most residents are in homes that would only receive 1 or 2 stars (see Figure 1 in below resource).

Research demonstrates that an average of 258 minutes of care per day is needed for each resident. The same research also found the ideal skills mix would comprise 30% registered nurses, 20% enrolled nurses, and 50% personal care workers.

The Australian Government has responded to the Royal Commission and agreed to their first proposed minimum staff time standard (200 minutes of combined care including 40 minutes from registered nurses per day for the average resident) but has delayed the requirement for providers to meet this standard until 1 October 2023. The Government has not agreed to mandate minimum care time provided by enrolled nurses. The Government has also agreed to require nursing homes to have a registered nurse onsite for at least 16 hours per day but has not said whether this would need to be for day shifts only. It has been proposed that a new Age Care Act would include legislation for these minimum time standards. The Government has also said that from 1 July 2022, nursing homes will be required to report total care staffing minutes by registered nurses, enrolled nurses, and personal care workers on a quarterly basis and that an Australian nursing home star rating system will include this information and publish it on My Aged Care.

While legislating a minimum staff time standard in a new Act and public reporting of staff care minutes is an improvement over the current situation, delaying implementation and only requiring the minimum Royal Commission recommendation, and including no plan to raise the minimum standard from 200 minutes per day including 40 minutes from a registered nurse and only mandating 16 hour per day registered nurse presence is not soon enough and not good enough.

Mandated minimum staffing levels and skills mix in nursing homes must not be delayed until October 2023. Australia’s nursing home residents and staff cannot wait this long.

Pain relief when it's needed... it’s not too much to ask.

The Royal Commission into aged care found that there are not enough nurses to administer pain relief when our loved ones need it the most.

A little mealtime assistance... it’s not too much to ask.

The Royal Commission into aged care found that staff shortages left 68 percent of residents malnourished or at risk of malnourishment.