Workforce ‘fast losing hope’ says ANMF

03 March 2022

An “overwhelmed” workforce coupled with “chronic understaffing” has been identified as the “fundamental contributor” underpinning the current crisis in Australia’s aged care sector, according to a survey of workers.

Conducted by the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation, the national survey asked nurses and care workers about the workforce challenges they have had to face amid the peak of the Omicron wave of the COVID pandemic.

The findings and comments add to the already bleak picture of how the stresses and strains of working on the frontline have caused staff to be “physically and emotionally burnt-out” after working long hours and extra shifts without sufficient breaks or access to proper-fitting PPE.

Aged care workers are “fast-losing hope”, said ANMF federal secretary Annie Butler. “Most concerning for the ANMF and indeed, the whole community, is the number of aged care staff who reported that they will leave their jobs – that’s years upon years of experience just walking out the door,” she said.

“Lack of effective recruitment and retention of nurses and qualified care workers will only put further strain on a system at breaking point and will lead to more suffering and neglect.”

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