14 Mar 2019

Mandatory standards, funding boost urged for aged care

From Morning Report, 6:16 am on 14 March 2019

Workers in the aged care sector say a shortage of staff and a lack of mandatory standards are leading to care being 'rationed' for resthome residents. Eighty-three percent of respondents to a survey of caregivers conducted by the Nurses' Organisation and the E Tu union late last year said care was either delayed or missed for most of their shifts because of staff shortages. On Wednesday the two unions held a summit in Wellington at which they issued a report based on the survey called "In Safe Hands?". Among those speaking was Sarah McMillan, a registered nurse and clinical manager of an elderly care facility in Northland, who says the shortage of staff leaves caregivers guilty and ashamed they can't deliver the level of care they would like to. Those at the summit questioned why they are paid less than nurses working in District Health Boards and carers from overseas asked why their occupation is not included on Immigration New Zealand's skills shortage list. The Greens' senior citizens spokesperson, Jan Logie told the gathering she would take those concerns back to the associate health minister, Jenny Salesa.