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New funding for quality and safety project

New funding for quality and safety project

The Ministry of Health is to receive new funding to assess the quality and safety of the care and support of older people and people with disabilities, and develop initiatives to ensure the best standards are delivered throughout the country, Disability Issues and Associate Health Minister Ruth Dyson said today. address some long-standing needs of support workers Announcing the project at the Grey Power AGM in Dunedin today, Ms Dyson said that for older people and people with disabilities to receive the best personal care and support, whether at home or in residential care, it is crucial that the people providing the service are themselves well supported and valued.

“Well-trained and well-supported care workers are the key to quality and safety in the aged care and disability sectors. Residential and community support workers need a broad-based qualification that ensures nationally consistent standards. Staff recruitment and retention issues also need to be addressed.”

Ruth Dyson said $1million was allocated in the Budget to the project for 2003/2004. The Ministry of Health will be working with other government agencies and representatives of the aged care and disability sectors to identify specific quality and safety issues and to develop initiatives to address them.

She said National had ignored care workers during the 1990s.

“The Labour-Progressive government has a lot of catching up to do, after many years under the National government when there was no planning, no assessment of workforce needs and no workforce monitoring of care workers.”

Ruth Dyson said her office had been convening a series of meetings with aged care and disability sector representatives, including Grey Power, Age Concern, DPA, provider groups, community groups and unions. The group had identified the need for better support worker training and better working conditions as key priorities to ensure more effective and efficient services.

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