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Government committed to quality in aged care

Hon David Cunliffe
Minister of Health

9 October2008 Media Statement
Government committed to quality in aged care

Minister of Health David Cunliffe today announced a package of initiatives aimed at improving quality and safety in aged residential care.

“While the majority of providers and workers in the residential sector provided a high standard of care, a number of recent cases events had made it clear changes and assurances were needed,” Mr Cunliffe said.

Mr Cunliffe said the Government had last year committed an additional $150 million over four years to residential care and another $81.2 million in helping them stay in their own homes in the largest investment in aged care funding.

“Today’s announcement takes a practical approach to giving individuals and families certainty around accessing information on aged residential care.”

“This government is committed ensuring our elderly are treated with the respect and dignity they deserve and to aid this, the Government has committed $1.8 million.

New government actions include
• Introducing spot or random audits in addition to the planned audit cycle
• Making summary audit information of each rest home available to the public on the Ministry of Health website.
• Monitoring the agencies that carry out audits by having Ministry of Health auditors accompany the agencies on their visits to ensure quality.

“I am also signalling my intent to end the practice of pre-notification of audit times.”

“We want a transparent process where individuals and families have access to good quality information.

Mr Cunliffe said international research showed that quality improved when residents and their families are included in decision making processes. The Ministry of Health will promote improved awareness of consumer rights and complaints processes

If anyone has a complaint they should call 0800 113 813 to contact the MOH HealthCert compliance time.

Mr Cunliffe said he would be taking further work to cabinet regarding workforce training and remuneration issues in the next few weeks.

Media contact Vikki Carter 04 471 9918 or 021 226 9918

Frequently asked questions.

How many aged residential care providers are there in New Zealand?

There are approximately 750 aged residential care facilities nationwide.

How many people live in aged residential care?

As of June this year approximately 28,000 older people were living in aged residential care services.

In addition another 60,000 older New Zealanders received home support services.

Has the Government increased spending in aged residential care?

In 2007/08, public funding for aged residential care services was $715 million and home based support services was $160 million.

The aged care sector received targeted Budget funding in 2005, 2006 and 2007, culminating in $87 million for residential care and $47.2 million for home based services per year.

Ends


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