News Video | Policy | GPs | Hospitals | Medical | Mental Health | Welfare | Search

 

Lack of Staffing Puts Lives At Risk in Aged Care

12 May 2006

Lack of Safe Staffing Puts Lives At Risk in Aged Care

Today is International Nurses Day and the theme is Safe Staffing Saves lives.

“Unfortunately for the residents of aged care facilities in New Zealand, many of the facility owners do not accept the fundamental link between staffing numbers and safe care,” said New Zealand Nurses Organisation industrial advisor, Rob Haultain.

Rob Haultain said a recent NZNO audit of aged care and dementia care facilities showed aged care operators have scant regard for safe staffing.

NZNO audited the facilities using Ministry of Health indicators of minimum numbers of nursing and care giving hours per patient per day, depending on the level of care that individual residents/patients need to ensure safe care for every resident/patient.

“The results show that many aged care facilities habitually staff well below the registered nurse hours that the indicators state are ‘safe’,” said Rob Haultain.

An audit conducted by NZNO last year showed that aged care facility owners were least compliant with the Indicators in relation to the registered nurses’ hours.

“Across the sector, nursing numbers was well below the minimums. Caregiver hours across all sites were 24% below the minimums.”

Rob Haultain said one facility audited last week showed registered nurse hours were 1.14 per patient per day when the Indicators required 3.5 –4.35 total RN care hours.

Another facility, when audited, had no RN on duty on the morning shift which is the busiest shift. One week later, when the NZNO audit tool was put over that same facility, the audit showed that no housekeeping duties could be carried out due to short staffing. Numerous other examples could be given.

“When NZNO raises non-compliance with the Indicators with employers their stock standard response is “Those are only indicators. They are not mandatory. We can choose whether we comply with them or not!”,” said Rob Haultain.

“We end regulation and adequate funding in the aged care sector or unsafe staffing will continue to put the care of our elderly at risk.”


www.nzno.org.nz

Fair Pay - NZNO members are worth it

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 
At Bats: Locke - The World Theatrical Premiere

On the eve of the biggest challenge of his career, Ivan Locke receives a phone call that sets in motion a series of events that will unravel his family, job and soul... More>>

Other Elections: Kea Crowned Bird Of The Year

These large, green mountain parrots are known for their curiosity and intelligence. Once numbering in the hundreds of thousands, they are now classified as Nationally Endangered with just 3,000 - 7,000 birds remaining. More>>

ALSO:

Howard Davis Review: Conflict & Resistance - Ria Hall's Rules of Engagement

From the aftermath of war through colonisation to her own personal convictions, Hall's new CD addresses current issues and social problems on multiple levels, confirming her position as a polemical and preeminent voice on the indigenous NZ music scene. More>>

Howard Davis Review: Another Time, Another Place - David Friesen Trio Live

"It has been said of David Friesen that he does for the art of bass playing what Pythagoras did for the triangle" - Patrick Hinley, Jazz Times. At Wellington's newest jazz venue, the cozy and intimate Pyramid Cub, the trio clicked together from the opening bars, presenting many of the tunes from their marvelous new recording. More>>

Howard Davis Review: The Father - Descending Into The Depths of Dementia

Florian Zeller's dazzling drama The Father explores the effects of a deeply unsettling illness that affects 62,000 Kiwis, a number expected to grow to 102,000 by 2030. More>>

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • CULTURE
  • HEALTH
  • EDUCATION