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Poor NZNO Research No Evidence of Safety Issues


12 May 2006

Poor NZNO Research No Evidence of Safety Issues in Aged Care

The information released by the NZNO today, claiming that low staffing levels are putting lives at risk in the aged care sector is incorrect.

“Everyone needs to be aware that the NZNO’s assertion is devoid of any robust methodology, i.e., the information was informally collected by union organisers from union members, on self selected sites. Furthermore, these union organiser’s knew in advance the claims the NZNO wanted to make. To take this information and then claim to have undertaken an ‘audit’ is misleading at best”, said Martin Taylor, Chief Executive of HealthCare Providers New Zealand.

“HealthCare Providers NZ welcomes any robust, independent research that helps us maintain and improve the quality of aged care. What the NZNO released today does not come close to meeting these requirements”.

“It needs to be remembered that standards in the sector are maintained by a certification regime set in statute by the Health and Disability Services (Safety) Act 2001, which states that rest homes and hospitals are required to achieve certification against the Health and Disability Sector Standards. These standards are reviewed by the MOH. Facilities are also audited by DHBs, who hold the provider’s contracts”.

“People need to be aware that the aged care sector looks after more than 46,000 people a year, in around 770 residential care homes. Of course there are going to be isolated incidents where care could have been better, and we accept that a very small number of facilities are closed each year, but to claim lives are being put at risk through low staffing levels is wrong”, said Martin Taylor, Chief Executive of Healthcare Providers New Zealand.


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