Aged Care Staffing Crisis
Friday 26 Jun 2020
The Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety continues after the release of its interim report Neglect. A recent research study from the University of Wollongong commissioned by the Royal Commission found there are serious problems with our staffing mixes and care time when compared to other countries. Using the US five-star rating system, which is considered the most relevant system international for judging aged care, it found that:
“More than half of all Australian aged care residents (57.6%) are in residences that have inadequate (one or two stars) staffing levels. A little over a quarter (27.0%) are in residences that have three stars, 14.1% of residents are in residence with four stars, and 1.3% are in residences with five stars, which we consider best practice.”
Significant increases in staffing are required to improve care outcomes. The study found that for allied health staffing to achieve the international benchmark minimum of 22 minutes of care per resident per day there would need to be an additional 175 percent of staff in allied health. Only 2 per cent of aged care residents in Australia currently receive care that meets this benchmark.
For more information, listen to the “Australian aged care is understaffed” podcast by Professor Kathy Eagar (MJA Podcasts 2020 Episode 21).