Enrolled Nurses Cut from Understaffed Nursing Homes

17 November 2022

The Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation (ANMF) has expressed concerns that Enrolled Nurses (EN) are being made redundant and replaced with personal care workers (PCW) in nursing homes – in what appears to be a cynical cost-cutting exercise by some aged care providers.

In Tasmania, Southern Cross Care has commenced making ENs redundant in all their facilities, substituting them with extended care workers, apparently in response to the Federal Government’s policy of mandated minimum care minutes in aged care facilities. In-line with one of the key recommendations of the Royal Commission, aged care facilities will be required to meet an average case-mix-adjusted care minute target of 200 minutes per resident per day from RNs, ENs and PCWs. This includes 40 minutes with an RN, with the remaining 160 minutes based on a combination of care delivered by RNs, ENs and PCWs.

Some providers in South Australia are also substituting ENs with a combination of Registered Nurses (RN) and Personal Care Workers (PCW).

“The ANMF is extremely concerned that some operators like Southern Cross Care are cynically using the new staffing and funding model to cut ENs from their rosters, despite the Government’s explicit direction that ENs are to be included in mandated minimum care minutes and will be funded,” ANMF Federal Secretary Annie Butler said today.

“What’s apparent is that these providers are merely trying to save on costs – yet again, putting profits before the people in their care. Instead of implementing the Royal Commission’s recommendations to increase care minutes for residents, they’re reducing frontline EN positions, replacing them with lower-paid personal care workers – and putting extra workloads on to already burnt-out RNs.

“Our members in Tasmania and SA are concerned that cutting the number of frontline ENs will now make it even harder for RNs to cope with these additional workloads and will seriously compromise providers’ capacity to recruit and retain RNs. We call on Southern Cross Care and other providers thinking of doing the same, to stop – workers and the residents they care for, will both suffer.

The affected ENs are being supported by the ANMF, which is holding talks with the Management of Southern Cross Care. The ANMF (SA Branch) has also written to the Department of Health and Aged Care, expressing concerns that the actions of these providers is ‘not in the interests of safe resident care’ and that this issue ‘may become more expansive over time’.

The ANMF, with over 322,000 members, is the industrial and professional voice for nurses, midwives and carers in Australia.

ANMF media release authorised by Annie Butler, ANMF Federal Secretary. 1/365 Queen St, Melbourne. 

ANMF media inquiries: Richard Lenarduzzi 0411 254 390

Share this story

Stay aware and up to date with industry issues

Receive the latest ANMF news, media and campaign updates direct to your inbox.

By submitting this form you agree to receive electronic messages from the ANMF and have read our privacy policy. You can unsubscribe any time

Read More

Media Releases

Stay up to date with the latest media releases from the ANMF.

Related

ANMF Tasmanian Branch calls on Prime Minister to intervene in Southern Cross Care Change

News ANMF Tasmanian Branch calls on Prime Minister to intervene in Southern Cross Care Change

22 November 2022

The Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation Tasmanian Branch (ANMF) has written to Prime Minister, Anthony Albanese ...

Read more

‘It’s vital’: RN 24/7 becomes law

News ‘It’s vital’: RN 24/7 becomes law

27 October 2022

Aged care homes will be required to have a registered nurse on duty 24/7, and make sure residents receive a minimum amou...

Read more

Key takeaways from the Jobs and Skills Summit

News Key takeaways from the Jobs and Skills Summit

09 September 2022

Led by Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, the summit brought together prominent leaders from across Australia including po...

Read more