Aged care providers support compulsory registration

The NSW Nurses and Midwives’ Association (NSWNMA) has commended the Aged Care Guild for supporting the registration of unregulated care workers in its submission to the Senate inquiry into the future of Australia’s aged care sector work force.

In its recommendations, the Guild requested the Committee consider compulsory registration for all aged care workers, which would require Personal Care Attendants (PCAs) and Assistants in Nursing (AINs) to be administered by the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA), in the same way registered nurses, doctors and allied health professionals are.

NSWNMA General Secretary, Brett Holmes said it was a responsible suggestion that would assist in improving the quality of care in residential aged care facilities.

“The submission acknowledges that residents are entering care in more advanced stages of their lives and require a higher level of care. This is why the NSWNMA is campaigning to maintain the requirement to have a registered nurse on site at all times in aged care facilities where there are people with high care needs.

“In order to properly manage the growing aging population, the industry needs more skilled, well-trained staff entering the workforce. By implementing compulsory registration for all employees in aged care, staff will have to meet national standards and be held accountable if they don’t practice a safe and appropriate level of care.

“We hope recommendations such as this will be considered in the Committee’s response to the inquiry, which is due by 30 June, 2016.”

The Aged Care Guild is an association comprising nine of the largest Residential Aged Care for profit providers. Members include Allity, Arcare Aged Care, Blue Cross, Bupa Aged Care, Estia Health, Japara Healthcare, McKenzie Aged Care, Opal Aged Care and Regis Healthcare.

The Guild provides around 34,000 residential aged care beds, which equates to around 18 percent of older people in residential care in Australia.

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