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NZNO Report Questionable

3 October 2005

NZNO Report Questionable

“The NZNO report ‘Snap shot of staffing levels’ released on Sunday does not validate in any way the NZNO views for the introduction of mandatory minimum staffing levels”, says Martin Taylor, CEO of HealthCare Providers NZ.

“As the report says itself (p11), it does not provide an “adequate basis” for campaigning, as it lacks a systematic approach, consistent data collection and verification processes and a professional research format.”

“The sample used in the study is very small, and the homes and hospitals involved had their staff numbers collected by union delegates without input from management. It is unclear whether the union delegates had enough information in order to collect and report their findings to the NZNO, and there doesn’t seem to be any verification process”.

“The report is also misleading as it holds out that the recommended staffing levels in the handbook are in some way being breached by the aged care sector and that breach is causing issues of safety. We need to remember that the handbook suggests ideal, ‘Rolls Royce’ staffing levels, based on the premise of supporting levels of funding. These levels of funding currently don’t exist.”

“As the NZNO know, the sector is under funded and the current staffing levels, although low, are adequate to provide safe care. It also needs to be understood that all providers of aged care are regulated to make sure that they provide safe levels of care to the 40,000 plus elderly each year.”

“The issue of staffing in the aged care sector is a concern for all stakeholders considering the problems associated with DHBs being funded to pay up to 50% more than aged care providers.

“There is no evidence yet to suggest that staffing levels have caused unsafe levels of care delivery, however, if the funding levels are not improved then this may well occur ” says Martin Taylor, CEO of HealthCare Providers NZ


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