25% jump in aged care residents being transported to hospital: Fairfax Media

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Journalist Michael Bachelard has continued his investigation of the aged care sector, highlighting the jump in residents being transferred to over 14,000, up from 11,200 the previous year.

The majority of transfers happen during the week and falling dramatically on weekends, which the nurses’ union says reflects the lack of staff on hand on Saturdays and Sundays.

However ACSA is quoted as saying the figures show the system is working because older Australians “need to be able to access hospital services”.

Nursing homes were “not funded to provide for the hospital-level care needed”, ACSA CEO Pat Sparrow said.

Aged care provider Bupa, which is currently facing strike action over cuts to staff roles at a number of its facilities, agrees with the ACSA strategy. In a recent government submission, it wrote that inadequate government funding is to blame for the increase in hospital admissions.

Chief Nurse Maureen Berry has told Fairfax the staff cuts were because “government funding for care per resident … is tightening”.

“With 44 years of nursing experience, I’m confident the proposed change to our management structure … will not impact the level of care residents receive,” she said however.

Either way, it’s more fodder for Fairfax.

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