Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Better Staff Levels And Training For Dementia Care

Better staff levels, improved training opportunities, and a new working group to monitor dementia services will help address concerns about the quality of these services for older people, Associate Health Minister Ruth Dyson said today.

"Older people in dementia units are very vulnerable, and it is essential they receive the best possible care and support," Ms Dyson said.

Most service providers were doing an excellent job, she said. However, advice from the Ministry of Health confirmed that during the last year, eight of the 98 providers of specialist dementia services had been specially audited because of concerns relating to quality of care. Seven of these audits had been commissioned in the Southern region.

Concerns included:
- lack of provider commitment to staff training in specialised dementia care;
- apparent lack of provider awareness of training opportunities in dementia care;
- lack of family participation in the planning and provision of residents' care;
- lack of appropriate response from rest homes to complaints by family members;
- lack of adherence to appropriate medication protocols and procedures.

Ruth Dyson said stricter service specifications relating to staffing levels and training were ready to be introduced into new contracts for residential aged care services.

"At the moment, regional differences in service agreements mean that some providers are required to have staff on duty in dementia units 24 hours a day, while others are merely required to employ staff 'to meet the health and care needs of all residents'.

"The new agreements will ensure national consistency and specify that a staff member must be on duty in every dementia unit for 24 hours a day."

Ms Dyson said the new service specifications would also tighten up training requirements.

"The Ministry of Health is currently negotiating with the Community Support Services Industry Training Organisation to ensure that unit standards training around dementia care will be available to all providers in the aged-care residential sector.

"We are confident that we can come up with a cost-effective, on-the-job training package, linked to the National Qualifications framework, which will greatly improve the quality of care of older people."

Ruth Dyson said she intended setting up a working group as soon as possible to look at ways dementia services overall can be improved. It would be made up of service providers, health professionals and representatives from the aged care sector.

"Two things I will be asking the group to address are improving the access and effectiveness of our complaints procedures, and developing specific dementia care standards.

"We need mandatory service standards for dementia care to ensure quality and consistency of care throughout the country."

Ms Dyson also acknowledged ongoing concerns about complaints procedures.

"Families do not always know who to complain to, or how. They are also scared about the possible impact on their relative if they do complain."

"Better staff levels and improved training opportunities, combined with addressing these two issues of service standards and a robust complaints procedure, will enable all New Zealanders to have confidence in the quality of care in dementia units," Ruth Dyson said.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Also, Loan Interest: Productivity Commission On Tertiary Education

Key recommendations include better quality control; making it easier for students to transfer between courses; abolishing University Entrance; enabling tertiary institutions to own and control their assets; making it easier for new providers to enter the system; and facilitating more and faster innovation by tertiary education providers... More>>


Scoop Images:
Dame Patsy Reddy Sworn In As Governor-General

This morning Dame Patsy Reddy was sworn in as the New Zealand Realm’s 21st Governor-General. The ceremony began with a pōwhiri to welcome Dame Patsy and her husband Sir David Gascoigne to Parliament. More>>


Ruataniwha: DOC, Hawke's Bay Council Developer Take Supreme Court Appeal

The Department of Conservation and Hawke's Bay Regional Investment Company (HBRIC) are appealing to the Supreme Court over a conservation land swap which the Court of Appeal halted. More>>


With NZ's Marama Davidson: Women’s Flotilla Leaves Sicily – Heading For Gaza

Women representing 13 countries spanning five continents began their journey yesterday on Zaytouna-Oliva to the shores of Gaza, which has been under blockade since 2007. On board are a Nobel Peace Laureate, three parliamentarians, a decorated US diplomat, journalists, an Olympic athlete, and a physician. A list of the women with their background can be found here. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Key Style Of Crisis Management

At Monday’s post Cabinet press conference Key was in his finest wide- eyed “Problem? What problem?” mode. No, there wasn’t really a problem that top MPI officials had been at odds with each other over the meaning of the fisheries policy and how that policy should be pursued... More>>


Mt Roskill: Greens Will Not Stand In Likely Post-Goff By-Election

“The Green Party’s priority is changing the Government in 2017, and as part of that we’ve decided that we won’t stand a candidate in the probable Mt Roskill by-election... This decision shows the Memorandum of Understanding between Labour and the Green Party is working." More>>


Wellington: Predator Free Capital Plan

Wellington City Council (WCC), the Greater Wellington Regional Council (GWRC) and NEXT Foundation, today announced a joint collaboration to make Wellington the first Predator Free capital city in the world. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Judith Collins’ Efforts At Self Correction

Thousands of prisoners currently in prison may be entitled to an earlier release than expected – and compensation – because Corrections has incorrectly calculated their term of imprisonment. Unless of course, the government buries its mistakes by changing the law and retro-actively getting itself off the hook… More>>


More Justice & Corrections

Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news