Royal Commission on the Care of the Elderly Releases Further Research and Backgrounder

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The first research paper, released Oct. 11, looked at nursing home staffing levels and how they compare to international benchmarks.

Research by the Australian Health Services Research Institute at the University of Wollongong found that more than half of all Australians living in nursing homes had a workforce that would be awarded one or two stars in the U.S. five star rating.

The Royal Commission is currently studying the staffing levels and skill mix of staff in residential senior care since it was highlighted as a significant issue in the industry.

The purpose of this report provided to the Commission was to analyze the current staffing levels of nursing homes for the aged compared to standards in other countries.

It was concluded in the report that the United States has the best system available for measuring the right staffing levels because of its five-star scale method.

Three stars is considered an industry average, with any rating below three stars being considered below average.

The star rating takes into account the time spent by the nurse and caregivers per resident, adjusted according to the care needs of residents, so that homes can be compared to each other.

When the US benchmark for staffing was applied to Australian data, the University found that 57.6% of all Australian elderly care residents are in homes that would be classified as nursing homes. one or two star nurses.

The report’s authors, Kathy Eagar, Anita Westera, Milena Snoek, Conrad Kobel, Carol Loggie and Rob Gordon, believe that one and two star nursing homes do not provide an acceptable level of staffing for their residents.

The study also found that 27% of Australian elderly care residents are in three-star nursing homes, 14.1% are in four-star nursing homes and only 1.3% are in nursing homes. retreat considered five stars.

For all Australian nursing homes to have at least a three-star rating, it would take an average 37.3% increase in nursing staff in homes currently with one or two stars, or a total increase of 20% in people. elderly in residence. care staff across Australia.

The eighth information document, A history of senior care advisories, released by the Commission on October 28, follows seven other substantive reports released over the past year.

In the report, the document found that successive Australian governments over the past two decades have been unwilling to make changes in the elderly care industry, even after a slew of reviews and reviews. surveys to repair the industry.

Analyzing 18 major public reports and inquiries into government-funded elderly care in Australia since 1997, the Commission found that the government had taken virtually no action in response to the report’s recommendations.

The document says, “The answers often come years after the exam and tell what was done in an almost tangential way.

“The changes initiated are often slow to materialize, or disappear before implementation. ”

These sentiments have been repeated constantly to Commissioners since the start of the Commission last April.

The past two decades of reviews have covered many aspects of the elderly care industry including funding, workforce, regulatory system, youth in nursing homes, care palliative care, dementia care, and quality and safety.

The document concludes: “Although governments have responded with ad hoc reforms to elements of the system, they have not been able to address the underlying problems of a system that has failed to deliver. the Australian community ensuring the quality and safety of elderly care. he waits. ”

These two reports, available on the Commission website, have been prepared for the information of the Royal Commission and the public. The opinions expressed therein are not necessarily those of the Commissioners.


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