Support for registered nurses in nursing homes

08-Jan-2016

ASMOF has written to the NSW Health Minister, Julian Skinner, urging her to implement the majority of recommendations of Parliamentary Inquiry which looked at Registered Nurses in nursing homes. We wrote the letter following overwhelming support shown by select members for retaining registered nurses in nursing homes in our online survey. You can read the letter below.

ASMOF Letter to Minister - Support for Nurses in NHs ASMOF Letter to Minister - Support for Nurses in NHs (399 KB)

In June 2015 a NSW Legislative Council committee inquiry was established to investigate, among other things, whether to maintain the requirement for a registered nurse to be on duty in a nursing home at all times and the adequacy of nurse to patient ratios in aged care facilities.

The inquiry was set up after the Federal Government changed the way nursing homes are funded (removing the distinction between high and low care homes) which invalidated a NSW requirement that registered nurses must be provided in high-care homes.

The Inquiry received 165 submissions and public hearing were held in August. Most submissions generally supported the view that removing the requirements for registered nurses in nursing homes will compromise quality care and put vulnerable elderly residents at risk.

The Committee report was released in October 2015 and made 17 recommendations. 16 of the recommendations were very positive, the most critical recommendations were  to retain the requirement in section 104(1)(a) of the Public Health Act 2010 for registered nurses to be on duty in nursing homes at all times; to establish a system to monitor, regulate and enforce section 104(1)(a) of the Public Health Act 2010 and for the NSW Government to urge the Commonwealth Government to establish minimum staffing ratios in aged care facilities.

However the committee also recommended that aged care providers could seek an exemption to the requirement.

The Government has till 29 April 2016 to respond to the report, and it is by no means certain that they will endorse the recommendations.

You can read more about registered nurses in nursing homes in a handy FAQ developed by the Nurses Union: http://www.nswnma.asn.au/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/RN24-7-FAQ-0715.pdf