NSW Government abandons 24/7 nursing in aged care homes




As reported in January, ASMOF wrote to the Minister for Health in support of the retention of a legal minimum requirement to ensure registered nurses are on duty at all times in nursing homes.

Currently Section 104 of the Public Health Act 2010 (NSW) requires that at least one registered nurse be on duty at all times in nursing homes in New South Wales.

The NSW Government has now said they will drop the legal requirement for a registered nurse to be on site at all times in nursing homes.

This decision has been made despite receiving over 25,000 community signatures and hearing of the overwhelming concerns about the consequences from ASMOF, other unions and community advocacy groups.

The decision also flies in the face of the recommendations of the NSW Upper House inquiry into this issue which received unanimous cross party support (including from the Liberal Party and The Nationals) to keep registered nurses in residential aged care facilities for people with high care needs.

The Minister’s decision removes protective legislation that has been in place for over 25 years in NSW.

ASMOF believes that removing the requirement for there to be at least one Registered Nurse on duty in nursing homes will lead to a drop in the standard of care received by residents, an increase in unnecessary presentations to emergency departments and the potential loss of life.

We support our colleagues in the Nurses union in lobbying MPs to vote against any attempt to remove the requirement in the Public Health Act 2010 (NSW) to require nursing homes to employ registered nurses.

We also ask members to sign the petition "Premier Mike Baird: NSW Nursing homes MUST employ registered nurses 24/7" here