Home Media Resources Urgent Inspection Sought for Nursing Home - August 14 2003
Urgent Inspection Sought for Nursing Home - August 14 2003
The Health Services Union is calling for an urgent inspection of aged care facilities run by the Royal Freemasonsí in Prahran in Melbourne after investigation revealed up to 100 residents are being looked after by a single staffmember.
The union said staffing numbers were too low on every shift in its nursing home and hostel and the care of residents was being threatened.
Overnight, one staff member is left to care for 100 residents in one part of the Coppin Community Hostel. In another it is one to 75 overnight.
Overworked staff are becoming increasingly worried about the staffing shortfalls which are directly affecting the levels of care provided. Staff are also pressured to work up to 60 hours a week.
President of the union's Victorian No1 branch Jeff Jackson said there was a growing number of workplace incidents including falls by residents which could be prevented if more staff were on hand.
"How can families be confident that their relatives in these facilites are getting the care they need? These arrangements are totally unacceptable and we are calling for an urgent re-inspection by the Aged Care Standards and Accreditation Agency to fix this problem."
Under the current federal system, nursing homes have no minimum staffing levels they have to meet. The Health Services Union is campaigning to have safe staffing levels introduced for every shift and for the staffing levels to be displayed within the facility.
As part of its campaign the union will push at next week's ACTU Congress for a change in the aged care policy which will see all unions committed to campaigning for minimum staffing levels.
The union's national secretary Craig Thomson said minimum staffing levels were the only way to guarantee the safety and care of residents. "It is not about one size fits all or trying to impose standards nursing homes can't meet. This is about the care and safety of residents.''
Contacts: Jeff Jackson 0407 347059, Craig Thomson 0419 498691 or Mark Robinson 0439 411774
More about the aged care campaign is available here
Health Services Union
Ph: 03 93413328
Fax: 03 93413329