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Issue #1803      November 15, 2017

Fix the crisis in aged care

The country’s largest union, the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation (ANMF) has questioned why frontline nurses and care staff have been excluded from a taskforce established to fix the crisis in aged care.

ANMF assistant federal secretary Annie Butler labelled the decision to exclude workforce representatives from the taskforce announced today as a major insult for hard-working nurses and carers in the aged care sector.

“It’s inconceivable that the government has set-up a taskforce to investigate workforce issues and plan a future workforce strategy without nurses and carers,” Butler said.

“A wide range of stakeholders, from providers, consumer and interest groups, through to academics, have been invited to sit on the taskforce, but the ANMF or other representatives of the aged care workforce have been ignored.”

Nurses and carers working on the frontline in aged care are best placed to advise on what is required to ensure proper, safe care is provided to elderly nursing home residents.

They are the ones that fully understand the complex conditions of the frail aged, the skills that are required to attend to these conditions and how many staff that takes.

“This morning, the ANMF called the taskforce Chair and the office of the Minister for Aged Care Ken Wyatt to express our extreme disappointment and raise our concerns that worker representatives have been shut out.

“However, as always, the ANMF will work constructively with any of our aged stakeholders as part of our commitment to fix the crisis in aged care – for the sake of elderly nursing home residents and their families,” Butler said.

The ANMF, with 270,000 members, is the industrial and professional voice for nurses, midwives and assistants in nursing in Australia.

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