While many of our clients run quality homes and Aged Care services, unearthed through the Royal Commission is a system nuanced with ingrained behaviours, inconsistent processes, and poor integration jaded through years of poor accountability and governance.
This has been entrenched throughout time, requiring a significant and systematic restructuring of organisational procedures, processes and care standards. 148 recommendations were provided in response to the exposure of the most prevalent challenges faced by the Aged Care sector, most notably comprising poignant issues with staffing, funding, and care.
A synopsis of the Commission’s most pertinent findings are as follows.
In the pursuit of delivering sustained and consistent high-quality care that all Aged Care service employees strive to provide, a core concern that is resonated through the Commission’s report pertains to funding.
Whilst inclined towards the provision of compassionate, holistic, and patient-centric care, inadequate funding often hinders care providers to comprehensively execute such intentions. Faced with the challenge posed by an ageing population, sufficient funding to alleviate the pressures experienced by an understaffed and overworked industry is paramount.
Waning trust in the Aged Care system as incidents of neglect and misconduct are exposed, partnered with the volatility of the COVID-19 landscape, requires funding be utilised to provide improved outcomes for residents. Improving the levels of nursing staff, training and development, and dementia and palliative services will act as catalyst for the restoration of faith within the system.
With an increasing proportion of the aged demographic choosing to continue residing within their own homes, accessibility to accommodation opportunities has been flagged as a matter of concern.
The progression into aged care residences is an experience often plagued with uncertainty and hesitance. With limited information regarding available residential services and assistance provided throughout the transition, coupled with significant waiting periods, it is crucial to cater to individual requirements rather than adopting a ‘one size fits all’ approach. However, this is emblematic of a greater issue.
Despite the provision of funding to train approximately 33,800 care service employees, the emphasis on resident assistance and care cannot be achieved until further challenges are resolved. Within an industry plagued with notoriety for low remuneration and long hours, acquiring and retaining care staff with insufficient financial incentives will hinder the deliverance of service required to meet the recommendations of the Royal Commission.
Emanating from overworked service providers is the issue of care that did not adequately meet the expectations of its receivers. The Australian Aged Care industry is of the country’s largest industries. In 2018, 1.3 million people received care services from a workforce of approximately 500,000, resulting in the overextension of worker capacity.
The findings published by the Royal Commission reported that 1 in 3 people utilising home and aged care services experienced subpar assistance. This comes as no surprise, with 50% of aged care facilities possessing insufficient levels of staff, impacting the time workers are feasibly capable of spending with residents, and quality of the care.
The way forward for Aged Care, will be a rocky road comprising of many adjustments, legislative changes, and audit challenges all within an increasingly tight fiscal structure. You need a strong recruitment and HR partner by your side, who has long term experience and proven capabilities in this sector.
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