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$18 million for improving care for rest home residents

Jo Goodhew

30 JUNE, 2014

$18 million for improving care for rest home residents

Associate Health Minister Jo Goodhew today announced additional investment of $18 million to further improve the care of rest home residents throughout the country.

The funding will support the rollout of regular comprehensive clinical assessments of each of the 32,000 older New Zealanders living in rest homes.

“The Government is making available up to an extra $18 million over four years to provide ongoing support and training for nurses and rest homes from July 2015, as agreed during recent aged care contract negotiations,” says Mrs Goodhew.

“This money will help nurses identify potential risks for residents sooner, such as weight loss, incontinence and depression.

“From the moment they first move into a rest home, every resident is assessed across 22 key aspects of their health, such as nutrition, cognition, skin condition and falls. The assessment is repeated at least every six months, and the resident’s care plan is modified when their needs change.

“The information from the assessment is recorded on a secure nationwide system so GPs or hospital clinicians have the resident’s most up to date health information when treating them.”

The funding will be for training of registered nurses, ongoing software and licencing fees and data analysis to develop the assessments further as a means of measuring quality care.

In recognition of New Zealand’s ageing population, and in tough financial times, this Government has increased funding to the aged residential care sector by 25 percent since 2008/2009.

The additional funding announced today is ontop of the $10 million set aside in Budget 2014 for additional support for elderly people, including those with dementia.

“$14 million has already been invested into the introduction of interRAI in aged residential care. Over 1000 registered nurses have been trained to use the tool, completing over 11,000 assessments to date,” says Mrs Goodhew.

“This work complements the previous roll out of interRAI tool to those older New Zealanders receiving home based support.

“I would like to thank the aged care sector for their support in the roll out of this assessment tool and for their commitment to providing quality care to older New Zealanders.”

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