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Mandatory Staffing Levels Needed in Resthomes

Media Release:

Mandatory Staffing Levels Needed in Resthomes

The New Zealand Nurses Organisation (NZNO) believes the concerns raised by the Auditor-General, in her report on Wednesday, could be partially addressed through requiring residential facilities to have minimum staffing levels.

“Currently there is no requirement on providers to have a certain number of staff working at any one time. Our members frequently report being short staffed and unable to meet patient needs,” NZNO Organiser, David Wait said.

“Aged care workers are working with the most vulnerable elderly in our community, caring for their most intimate needs. These elderly have increasingly complex health requirements and there simply needs to be more trained people working in the sector,” said Wait.

“The average hourly rate for caregiving is $14 –the same as for people working in petrol stations, or stacking shelves in supermarkets. Caregivers are the majority of the workforce in the aged care sector with a much smaller number of Registered Nurses to support their work. These workers are undervalued by both the government and employers,” said Wait.

“Our elderly in resthomes and aged care hospitals deserve better treatment and the government can choose to do something about the current crisis. Legislating for minimum staffing levels to care for our elderly is surely a good first step,” said Wait.

ENDS

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