QLD nurses put forward radical “neighbourhood nursing” scheme to Royal Commission – saving $4.5B

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The Nurses Professional Association of Queensland has made a submission to the Royal Commission into Aged Care, calling for a new in-home aged care approach based on the Dutch “Buurtzorg” or “neighbourhood care” model (pictured).

Under the model, teams of up to 12 nurses look after a community of about 60 older people who would otherwise live in residential care – stripping middle management costs out of the system.

Each nurse visits around three or four patients a day – sometimes just a cup of tea and a check-up once a week or more regular visitors – for a minimum of 25 minutes, which the NPAQ argue would in many cases give patients more contact with nurses than they would have in an aged care home.

The nurses would also be available to liaise with GPs, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, social workers and other allied health workers and the police if required.

The scheme runs at 8% overhead costs, much less than the 25% costs of care in Australia estimated by the NPAQ and saves on hospital admissions and stays – valued at $4.5 billion.