Linda Hardman is devastated the Baird government has ignored a campaign to retain registered nurses at all times in high care facilities.

Illawarra seniors group representative Pam Wilson and NSW Nurses and Midwives Association Illawarra delegate Linda Hardman campaigning to keep RNs on duty 24/7 in May last year. Picture: Sylvia Liber

Illawarra aged care worker Linda Hardman is devastated the Baird government has ignored a campaign to retain registered nurses at all times in high-care facilities.

In response to a parliamentary inquiry, NSW Health Minister Jillian Skinner has advised that the state government would follow the lead of Commonwealth legislation that does not recognise the need for a registered nurse 24/7.

Ms Hardman, a NSW Nurses and Midwives’ Association Illawarra delegate, has been part of a statewide campaign to keep RNs around the clock, which has gained support from pensioner and health groups.

‘’At aged care facilities it’s all about teamwork between the registered nurses (RNs), enrolled nurses (ENs) and assistants in nursing (AINs),’’ Ms Hardman, an AIN, said.

‘’Without the RNs’ expert advice and support, more residents will have to be sent to hospital in an ambulance – which means more bed block.’’

Ms Hardman said while the decision was ‘’extremely disappointing’’, the nurses’ union would fight on.

‘’Jillian Skinner has referred this issue to the Federal Government, which has forced this to become an election issue,’’ she said.

NSWNMA general secretary Brett Holmes said the decision would ‘’send NSW backwards’’.

‘’At an average age of 83.5, Australians entering aged care facilities are older and frailer than ever before, many with chronic and complex care needs,’’ he said. 

‘’This is why it’s so important to have legislation to enforce that high level of care going forward.’’

He added: ‘’With a growing ageing population in Australia, demand for aged care beds is estimated to reach 392,000 by 2025, yet we’re removing the systems in place that ensure we can cope. It simply doesn’t make sense.’’

Around 165 organisations and individuals made submissions to the inquiry into RNs in NSW nursing homes. 

In a response to the inquiry lodged last Friday, Ms Skinner said the government recognised the ‘’wide range of concerns raised’’ but said aged care facilities operated under Commonwealth legislation.

‘’Retention and expansion of the NSW legislation will duplicate regulatory process,’’ she stated.

‘’… It is also important to highlight that these recommendations would extend the 24x7 requirement to facilities not previously caught by the requirement.

‘’NSW will therefore pursue concerns about the current regulatory regime through the COAG Health Council.’’

Registered nurses are needed around the clock

The campaign to keep registered nurses (RNs) in high need aged care facilities has been extensive.

The NSW Nurses and Midwives Association (NSWNMA) has been lobbying for nearly two years and its members – including Illawarra delegate Linda Hardman – have collected more than 25,000 signatures of public support.

The campaign has gained support from a range of seniors and health advocacy groups. 

Indeed last month 15 organisations, including Council on the Ageing and Cancer Council NSW, sent an open letter to NSW Health Minister Jillian Skinner demanding state legislation be revised to keep the requirement.

Meantime around 165 organisations and individuals have made submissions to a parliamentary inqu…


Read more at http://myinforms.com/en-au/a/32121550-illawarra-aged-care-worker-devastated-over-changes/

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