Rest homes: A-G puts acid on National to lift Game
Rest homes – A-G puts acid on National to lift its game
The Auditor General's report today on the need to ensure standards in New Zealand rest homes is a wake-up call for those who deny there are problems in the aged care sector, said Labour's spokesperson for aged care, Luamanuvao Winnie Laban.
The report highlights many deficiencies in the way in which audits on rest homes are carried out, and the granting of certification to rest homes.
“In particular, the potential conflict of Designated Auditing Agencies (DAAs) for certification auditing raises a list of problems around accountability and effectiveness,” Winnie Laban said.
“Inconsistent and poor-quality auditing by DAAs has led to a number of high profile crises in rest homes this year, and there is evidence of ongoing poor quality auditing.
“Certification audits are a particular worry, as rest homes can choose which DAAs audit them, and are aware of the audit well in advance, which defeats the purpose of an audit. In addition, the process is often rushed in an effort to cut costs.
"Last year, Labour initiated spot audits of rest homes in addition to the planned audit cycle, began the process of putting audit information for each rest home on the Ministry of Health Website, announced it would end pre-notification of audits and set up a 0800 number to handle complaints.
"This year, as Labour spokesperson for aged care, I have tried three times to initiate an inquiry into the provision of aged care for our elders and each time have been voted down by government members.
“However, these knock backs will not deter me from closely monitoring the standard of our rest homes and of aged care in general.
“National might for now be able to turn a blind eye to my call for a close inspection of the aged care sector, but at the very least it must read this report carefully and act on its recommendations to continue the impetus built up under Labour,” Winnie Laban said.