QLD Nurses Union to release aged care audit data in staffing ratio push before federal election

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Case in point. The Queensland Nurses and Midwives’ Union (QNMU) says it will release the data collected from each federal electorate during its audit of aged care facilities earlier this year as it looks for commitments from all current sitting members and senators on where they stand with the campaign.

Labor candidates Zac Beers for Flynn and Richard Pascoe for Hinkler already met with the Union last week to sign their pledge to legislate ratios for aged care workers.

“What’s required in aged care is a 30 per cent registered nurse skill mix, 20 per cent need to be enrolled nurses, and then the remaining 50 per cent could be a mix of assistants in nursing or personal carers,” QNMU secretary Beth Mohle told the Courier-Mail.

Ms Mohle says the audit found an average of 2.6 hours of care was being provided per resident per day, when 4.3 hours was actually required per person.

This figure comes from a 2016 study published by Flinders University and the University of South Australia titled ‘Meeting residents’ care needs: a study of the requirement for nursing and personal care staff’ – which was commissioned by the Australian Nursing & Midwifery Federation (ANMF).

The QNMU is also calling for higher rates of pay, citing the fact that pay for a registered nurse working in aged care is $300 week a less than their public and private hospital counterparts.

“They’re hugely underpaid, in poor working conditions with insecure work in terms of the ability to cut hours in contracts of engagement,” Ms Mohle said.

Again, all working to a strategic plan.