Tuesday, 18 September 2018
by leave—I move:
That the Senate:
(a) acknowledges that the Government's recent announcement of a royal commission into aged care is a necessary and appropriate response to evidence of systemic problems within the sector;
(b) notes that:
(i) since 2009 there have been 10 federal inquiries into the aged care sector, as well as a number of state parliamentary inquiries,
(ii) reports have consistently recommended increasing staffing levels to ensure that there are enough nurses and other qualified professionals on duty to provide a minimum standard of care,
(iii) international research suggests that higher registered nurse staffing levels, higher total staffing levels and a high skills mix (ratio of registered nurses to other nursing staff) are associated with better quality care, and
(iv) as it stands, the Department of Health's published list of anticipated terms of reference for the upcoming royal commission does not mention staffing levels; and
(c) calls on the Government to:
(i) amend existing accreditation standards to include a requirement for providers of aged care services to publish their staff-to-resident ratios in the interests of greater transparency, and
(ii) include in the royal commission's terms of reference a direction to examine the impact of staffing levels on quality of care.
Question agreed to.