Roundtable Public Hearing to Discuss the Aged Care Amendment (Staffing Ratio Disclosure) Bill 2018

On Friday this week, ACSA CEO Pat Sparrow and ACSA member and Warrigal CEO, Mark Sewell, will be appearing at the Inquiry into the Aged Care Amendment (Staffing Ratio Disclosure) Bill 2018, in Parliament House Canberra.


24 Oct 2018

 

The Bill (introduced by Rebekah Sharkie MP) seeks to: ‘effect the quarterly publication of ratios of aged care recipients to staff members for each residential care service operated by approved providers, with the aim of creating greater public transparency in the provision of residential care services and informing members of the public in any choice they may make regarding residential care services’.

Committee Chair, Mr Trent Zimmerman MP, stated that: ‘as part of this roundtable public hearing, the Committee will hear from aged care providers, government agencies, peak bodies, and professional nursing and medical associations. The inquiry is expected to provide the Committee with a range of perspectives on the Bill, including whether or not it should be passed and also highlight broader issues regarding levels of staffing for aged care services.’

ACSAs Submission to the inquiry is available here.


ACSA will raise members’ concerns on the Bill, and that while providers support the principles of transparency and comparability, staffing indicators must be designed to ensure fair comparability so consumers are able to compare like-for-like,


There are a number of factors which impact on the quality of care experience in residential aged care services, such as: the quality of workforce training; qualification and skills frameworks; attraction and retention of the right staff to meet sector needs; and addressing workforce planning. ACSA will also raise the implications of this Bill for smaller, RRR and specialist services.


ACSA recommends that:

Government work with key stakeholders and industry to develop a suite of quality indicators that are evidence based and focus on the quality of care and services that consumers receive. That will:

  • Provide a set of meaningful and measurable QIs;

  • Enhance community understanding of quality in residential aged care; and

  • Provide more information to consumers to assist with choice.


And that are cognisant of the work of:

  • The Aged Care Workforce Strategy Taskforce;

  • The Royal Commission into Aged Care;

  • The Department of Health in relation to national aged care quality indicators; and

  • The Resource Utilisation Study, currently nearing completion.

 

Further information about the Committee’s inquiry, including the public hearing program, is available on the Committee’s website here