QLD Government introduces new aged care reform bill

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Elderly relatives living in aged care homes across QLD should be better off under laws the state government says will force the sector to lift its game.

The bill, introduced by the state’s Health Minister, Steven Miles (pictured), would legislate minimum standards for residents in public facilities and boost transparency across the board.

Mr Miles says, “We’re in a position right now where in private facilities, one nurse is covering fifty patients, or one nurse is covering two facilities ten minutes apart.”

The proposed bill would mean both public and private residential aged care facilities would initially be asked to report quarterly on the average number of hours of daily care provided to each resident by nurses and support workers.

Those requirements could also be expanded by regulation where needed in future.

Mr Miles claims many operators consulted on the bill were not in favour of the increased transparency but said a properly funded and staffed aged care system would ease pressure on the state’s public hospitals.

There is an opt-out option for service providers that don’t want to provide the information being asked of them, but they will be publicly named and shamed if they do.

Hospital accreditation, information on patient outcomes and elective surgery procedures – including the number of procedures performed and the average time spent in hospital – will also be made available online.

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