I have never been a great advocate for regulated minimum staffing ratios, but prefer regulation of the things that are really important around provision of care services to the people, our care recipients. If you like, having enough of the right people at the right time, and not just to fulfil a compliance requirement around the number of pairs of hands.
In completing this Review my own views around staffing, quality of care, industrial considerations and the like have changed – for the better. It remains to be seen if those with the capacity to make an even more profound difference to improve care outcomes for frail, vulnerable, mainly elderly recipients of care – the Australian Government and Parliament – will actually choose to support those whom we serve.
It seems that in Australia rarely a month goes by where the public is not informed of another aged care failing. There is wide spread public perception of a lack of care and low quality of life for residents within the aged care system. The call for greater regulation of minimum staffing standards and additional funds to meet them is prominent but seems to fall on deaf ears of the Australian Government.
Without residential aged care provision, residents would likely be inpatients in State based hospitals at several times the daily cost of care of a residential aged care facility. However, the proportion of funds spent on care and service provision should be acquitted on what really matters – the care of people.