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NZNO Scaremonger on Staffing Ratios


12 March 2008

NZNO Scaremonger on Staffing Ratios

The New Zealand Nurses Organisation claim aged care providers are not appropriately staffing their facilities, and that rigid government regulation is necessary.

This claim has been made without the NZNO undertaking any research to support their position and with no supporting research from the Ministry of Health or District Health Boards.

“This type of scaremongering happens each year, and each year the NZNO fail to understand that staffing ratios were removed in 2003 because they didn’t ensure the right level of care was being delivered at the right time”, said Martin Taylor, CEO of HealthCare Providers NZ.

DHBs and the Ministry of Health audit all aged care facilities to ensure staffing levels are appropriate. Also, if they receive complaints about staffing levels they have the ability to do further investigations and to force any changes they deem necessary.

Mr Taylor said staffing ratios don’t work because the mix of services within each facility are different and the dependency levels of each resident change over time. Therefore, rigid ratios don’t work and the best approach is to alter staffing levels as required.

“The NZNO want to return to the days where everything is government regulated and one size fits all. The aged care sector and the government have moved on from that place, its time the Unions did as well”, said Martin Taylor, CEO of HealthCare Providers NZ.


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