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


Spotlight Needs to Shine on Aged Care Homes

24 July 2008

Spotlight Needs to Shine on Aged Care Homes: Greens

The Green Party says fears that five other rest homes could be almost as bad as Auckland's Belhaven home - where an elderly woman was gagged - undermine confidence in the entire aged care sector, and to restore confidence the government should publicly release audits of all New Zealand rest homes.

The Ministry of Health was asked to prepare a list of other rest homes potentially in the same league as Belhaven, and Green Party Health Spokesperson Sue Kedgley says New Zealanders have a right to know the results of the Ministry's rest home audits so they can learn for themselves the true state of care in rest homes.

"The aged care sector is one of the most un-regulated sectors in the health system and frankly, we have no idea how good or bad the care is in many of our homes.

"We need to shine the spotlight on the aged care sector, make audits of facilities available for concerned relatives, and put in place minimum standards for training and mandated minimum staffing levels to ensure older New Zealanders are not being maltreated.

"There is no minimum standard for how many staff are needed to look after patients in residential care, and no minimum training standard or required certification for caregivers. People can literally walk off the street and start working in our homes, without any training. Most caregivers are paid the minimum wage and staff turnover is huge. We desperately need pay parity with District Health Boards, or there will continue to be high turnover and under staffing throughout the sector.

"The two to three yearly audits by the Ministry of Health - where the Ministry gives advance notice that they are about to conduct an audit - are woefully inadequate, and we urgently need proper regulation and monitoring in the aged care sector.

"The pitiful pay rates, which lag way behind similar work in DHBs, mean that the workforce is shortstaffed, and has an unacceptably high turnover. More money and better training are needed if we are to avert any more such horrific situations occurring.

"Elderly rest home residents are in a particularly vulnerable situation and need to be treated with respect and compassion. While the vast majority of rest home workers are struggling to do a good job, they are badly underpaid, under resourced and under valued. It is crucial we better resource them for the important work they do, and require homes to meet minimum standards.

"The aged care sector is an example of why we should not contract public health services out and abandon regulations."


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Life And Times Of Peter Dunne

In the end, Mr Pragmatic calmly read the signs of impending defeat and went out on his own terms. You could use any number of clichés to describe Peter Dunne’s exit from Parliament.

The unkind might talk of sinking ships, others could be more reminded of a loaded revolver left on the desk by his Cabinet colleagues as they closed the door behind them, now that the polls in Ohariu had confirmed he was no longer of much use to National. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Labour’s Campaign Launch

One of the key motifs of Ardern’s speech was her repeated use of the phrase – “Now, what?” Cleverly, that looks like being Labour’s response to National’s ‘steady as it goes’ warning against not putting the economic ‘gains’ at risk. More>>


Lyndon Hood: Social Welfare, Explained

Speaking as someone who has seen better times and nowadays mostly operates by being really annoying and humiliating to deal with, I have some fellow feeling with the current system, so I’ll take this chance to set a few things straight.. More>>


Deregistered: Independent Board Decision On Family First

The Board considers that Family First has a purpose to promote its own particular views about marriage and the traditional family that cannot be determined to be for the public benefit in a way previously accepted as charitable... More>>


Transport Policies: Nats' New $10.5bn Roads Of National Significance

National is committing to the next generation of Roads of National Significance, National Party Transport Spokesperson Simon Bridges says. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Why Labour Isn’t Responsible For Barnaby Joyce

As a desperate Turnbull government tries to treat the Barnaby Joyce affair as a Pauline Hanson fever dream – blame it on the foreigners! We’re the victims of the dastardly New Zealand Labour Party! – our own government has chosen to further that narrative, and make itself an accomplice. More>>


Rail: Greens Back Tauranga – Hamilton – Auckland Service

The Green Party today announced that it will trial a passenger rail service between Auckland, Hamilton and Tauranga starting in 2019, when it is in government. More>>


Housing: Voluntary Rental Warrant Of Fitness For Wellington

Wellington City Council is partnering with the University of Otago, Wellington, to launch a voluntary Rental Warrant of Fitness for minimum housing standards in Wellington, Mayor Justin Lester has announced. More>>





Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election