Over the last decade Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation (ANMF) members have been campaigning for improvements in aged care with increasing intensity in an attempt to ensure quality care for residents and decent conditions for those working in aged care. But despite multiple reviews, inquiries and investigations no real improvements have been forthcoming.
Consequently, safe staffing in aged care, including a mandated requirement for 24 hour registered nurse cover for all high care residents, was one of the ANMF’s four key issues for the 2016 Federal Election and was one of the central planks in the ANMF’s Federal Election campaign, If you don’t care, we can’t care.
Underpinned by research undertaken for the ANMF’s submission to the Senate Inquiry into The future of Australia’s aged care sector workforce and an economic analysis of the impact of the budget cuts announced in the 2016-17 Federal Budget, the ANMF’s Federal Election campaign included a national survey and phone-in of aged care workers and community members.
The survey explored how the funding cuts are, or would, impact the delivery of care in residential care facilities across the States and Territories, with the aim of gathering information to place aged care as a key election issue and gain the attention of voters, and thus, politicians.
The survey, which ran from 17 – 21 June 2016, was conducted primarily online with a national phone-in held on 18 June 2016. A total of 2,423 people, comprising 1,724 aged care nurses and care workers and 699 community members, mostly relatives of people in aged care, participated. This report provides an outline of their views on:
- current key concerns in aged care;
- the adequacy of staffing levels and staffing skill mixes in aged care;
- the adequacy of care delivery in residential facilities;
- improvements needed in aged care; and,
- voting intentions relating to aged care.