Southern Cross Care Tasmania, Where’s the Compassion, Integrity and Respect?

30 November 2022

An Enrolled Nurse (EN) made redundant by aged care provider Southern Cross Care Tasmania has publicly questioned the ‘Compassion, Integrity and Respect’ of their former employer for sacking highly-trained ENs and replacing them with lower-paid personal care workers (PCW) in nursing homes, as part of a new model of care.

The EN has written an emotional letter which was provided to stakeholder Aged Care Ministers and MPs by ANMF Federal Secretary Annie Butler and a delegation of current and former Southern Cross Care Tasmania ENs, in urgent meetings held in Parliament House Canberra today.

“The Royal Commission was about providing the best person centred care for Residents and in doing so facilities would retain a highly qualified skilled staff mix to provide that care. It may be too late for myself and colleagues at Southern Cross Care to retain the roles we love and are passionate about, providing care to Residents we call “family”, however it is not too late for the Government to ensure that what Southern Cross Care is proposing does not set a precedence for other Aged care facilities around the country. It is vital therefore that legislation of a minimum mandated skill mix of Registered Nurses, Enrolled Nurses and Care workers is implemented to stop any future greedy Aged Care providers from taking the same course of action as Southern Cross Care currently proposes,” the EN wrote in the letter presented to the politicians.

The EN also raised concerns that Registered Nurses (RN) will be placed under ‘increased pressures and workloads’ under the Southern Cross Care Tasmania’s so-called ‘Household Model of Care’ and warned that ultimately, it will be residents that are affected most.

The ANMF delegation met with Minister for Health and Aged Care Mark Butler, Minister for Aged Care Anika Wells, Assistant Minister for Health and Aged Care Ged Kearney, Helen Haines MP, Brian Mitchell MP and Senator Helen Polley.

“We thank the Ministers, the Assistant Minister and MPs for making time to meet with our aged care members and listening to their concerns about the impacts of Southern Cross Care Tasmania’s new model of care,” Ms Butler said.

“The letter from the former EN was a powerful message to our political decision-makers that our ENs play a vital role in delivering safe, quality care in already-understaffed nursing homes and how residents will suffer even further if Southern Cross Care Tasmania continues to cut frontline EN jobs.”

Read the full letter here.

The ANMF, with over 320,000 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

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