The $40 first impression of the Royal Commission

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By Chris Baynes

The message was the same from every non-bureaucrat who appeared as a witness this week.

More staff will increase quality of care and safety – the remit of the Royal Commission.

Thanks to Annie Butler from the ANMF, we now have a label for it. We are calling it the $40 solution.

That is the approximate cost per hour, give or take, to provide focused attention from a trained carer.

Therefore, we need to invest significantly more amounts of $40. Every quality interaction with a resident requires say 15 minutes, including the paperwork to account for it. And these interactions will be taking place 24/7, 365 days a year.

Psychotropic drugs: less should be used and more socialising should be practised. More $40 interactions.

The resident who was a baker and still wants to get up at 2.30 in the morning should be able to do so. More $40 interactions.

We need to reduce ‘casual neglect’. More $40 interactions.

This means significantly more money is required in the system.

Annie Butler said it is $5.3 billion a year.

Or greater efficiencies have to be introduced. The fact that the compliance paperwork accounts for up to 30% of the labour content has not been discussed yet.

Or that the consumer may have to pay more.

However, it is obvious that the Commissioners and the Counsels Assisting are already understanding the underfunding of the providers trying to do their job. And this is Week One.

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