Apr 04, 2022

Labor promises jail time for ‘dodgy’ aged care providers

Albanese promises to jail dodgy providers

The Labor party has released further details of its aged care policies after its budget reply speech revealed the care economy lies at the core of its election pitch to voters.

The Opposition revealed five measures it will take to “ensure older Australians receive the aged care they deserve”. 

Labor has promised a registered nurse will be onsite in residential aged care 24/7, residents will receive 215 minutes of care per day as recommended by the royal commission, the party will support the wages recommendation of the Fair Work Commission, ‘mandatory nutrition standards’ will be established to improve food quality, and the party will make residential care providers publicly reveal how they spend taxpayer dollars.

Labor will introduce a ‘Duty of Care’ that providers will guarantee for residents, to ensure clarity and certainty about legal responsibilities.

Breaches of the proposed duty of care could also give consumers a path to class actions.

Shadow aged care spokeswoman Clare O’Neil told The Sydney Morning Herald that most aged care providers deliver high quality care, but operators won’t be able to get away with sub-standard care under a Labor government.

“There are dodgy providers out there who have been allowed to continue shocking practices which hurt residents, such as re-serving uneaten food from one resident – pureed for other residents – as well as delays in medical treatment and overuse of physical restraints and drugs,” she said.

The opposition will also create a new complaints process, and introduce civil penalties to protect people who wish to make a complaint about an aged care operator.

“Sadly, older Australians, their families and aged care workers are often too scared to make a complaint because they fear retribution,” the opposition’s statement said.

Labor proposes granting the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission stronger investigative powers, including powers to enter and remain in an aged care home at any time, and full access to documents and records.

Labor will also establish a registration scheme for personal care workers which will include requirements for ongoing training, criminal history screening, English proficiency and a code of conduct. This scheme was a recommendation of the royal commission.

The opposition has also promised to work with providers to implement a direct employment preference to ensure regular workers can form strong, ongoing relationships with residents.

The opposition will introduce mandatory aged care food standards and public reporting on nutrition and food, among other items, if elected, they promised.

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  1. I am looking forward to the jail time bit. I can hardly wait til one of these ‘Managers’ gets locked up. Hopefully Labour can stop stuff like ‘lifestyle fees’ for ‘yoga’, the rationing and stockpiling of pads and the falsification of documentation to make it look like care is being delivered when it clearly is not happening.

  2. Fair Work wages are a joke. Set wages equivalent to hospital wages. Pay aged and community care staff a living wage then you will attract staff. Wage parity will make aged abd disabilty care an attractive career option. Why is a hospital RN worth more than a community RN. Set minimum levels of training for unregulated staff. Make NFP put their “profits” back into their facilities and staffing.

  3. If Labor truly agrees to introduce all of the above policies, in the shortage possible time. Then they have my vote. The above are areas concern that have been published by the Aged Care Royal Commission and put in its recommendations.

    “Not for Profit” are as bad as the “For Profit” providers that have beam highlighted in pervious correspondence re the Aged Care System routing.

  4. I can’t help but feel discouraged by all this talk of what Labor say they will do. Talk is cheap when their is a struggle to the top. And what another nasty struggle to the top this has been. Same as the last struggle! Looked what happened. As far as staff spending more time with residents go it will be good for feeding but if you have no staff even in the kitchen who do you think picks up the slack? Yep the AINs. They are used from everything from cleaning to laundry to kitchen work due to our shortage of staff. They are all young and from overseas and don’t have any relationship with our residents as we have a revolving door of young foreign staff. They come and go so residents have a new face almost every day looking after their needs. Then we have the issue with staff training as RNs and again we are short staffed when they are at college or on placement! Then we have months of Indian/Nepalese celebrations throughout the yr which has caused the worst shortages at our place!!! How do you stop all this? Hire more westerners would help and older staff who are more reliable and aren’t going to go off for months training to become RNs. Hire staff who live in closer proximity to work would help but probably unattainable I suppose. It is a business deals some companies have with other countries that have caused so many issues in the workforce. Signed on contracts for up to 3 yrs. If wages go up to a fairly higher grade in Aged Care then they may not hire so many foureigners anymore. But I don’t believe any government want to rack up our wages too much as they want to keep business happy.

  5. I truly hope that whoever gets in May can fast speed this pay rise to Aged Care. Alot of staff are so sick of waiting and waiting. All the years of evidence that things are so bad. Staff leaving by the droves and so many staff working two jobs just to keep living.It really is shameful. We should be earning what public hospitals pay their staff. Nobody wants to wait 6mths or a year anymore as there has been plenty of time to work out what “value” our work is “worth!”

  6. Home care providers to supply government with details of all costs charged to retirees living in own homes as home care packages. Most of the government subsidy ($1,000pw) goes to the provider who has total control of the funds. The recipient must convince the provider of the necessity of the request.

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