New group to lobby on aged care

A new lobby group has been set up to improve the quality of aged care facilities.

The Quality Aged Care Action Group (QACAG) will campaign on issues such as reduction of services, inadequate staffing and inappropriate skill mix in residential facilities.

The group has so far attracted more than 50 members who meet every second month at the NSWNA Sydney office.

The union’s annual conference last year expressed support for a broad alliance of nurses, residents and carers, doctors and community groups to campaign on aged care issues.

QACAG member Junie McCourt is both a nurse and carer, with her mother living in an aged care home.

Junie said she was motivated to get involved in the campaign after her mother’s facility reduced the number of RNs it employed.

‘It worried me that medications were to be handed out by unlicensed workers,’ Junie said. ‘The home provides an excellent level of care, the staff are hard working and very caring, but unlicensed carers don’t necessarily have the knowledge or experience to deal with medications.

‘When my mum came out of an acute care hospital and was put on medication she was quite bad, and it took an RN in the aged care facility to pick up that it was due to the drugs. The RN got my mum’s medication reviewed by a GP and geriatrician and her health improved after that.’

For information about QACAQ, contact NSWNA professional officer
Janet Ma on 8595 1234 (metro area) or 1300 367 962 (non metro).