ANMF condemns aged care providers for reclassifying lifestyle and allied health staff to meet mandated care minutes

The Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation (ANMF) says the tactic being used by some aged care providers to reclassify lifestyle staff as Personal Care Assistants (PCAs) in a bid to meet their mandated care minutes responsibilities is undermining the Albanese Government’s ongoing reforms to fix the sector.

Despite being funded to deliver landmark aged care reforms, reports have emerged of some aged care providers reclassifying lifestyle staff to PCAs, or cutting them altogether, to meet the current requirement of 200 minutes of care per resident per day.

ANMF Federal Secretary Annie Butler said aged care providers must prioritise the well-being of their residents by ensuring they receive both quality care and access to the important benefits that lifestyle services bring.

“Lifestyle services are an essential component of quality aged care, offering numerous benefits that contribute to the physical, mental, emotional and social well-being of residents,” Ms Butler said.

“The short-sighted move by some aged care providers to shift them to PCAs to fulfil mandated care minutes targets goes against the intention of the funding provided and ignores the holistic care vulnerable residents need and deserve.”

Ms Butler said the ANMF and its 326,000 members fully support the Government’s ongoing reforms across the sector, which have already led to significantly better outcomes for elderly Australians living in nursing homes.

“To address this issue, the regulator (the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission), must keep aged care providers accountable by ensuring they meet mandated care minutes as intended, instead of taking away essential elements of care to tick other boxes,” Ms Butler added.

“We call upon aged care providers to use additional taxpayer funding provided to the sector as it was intended, on direct, daily care.

“The Minister for Aged Care, Anika Wells, has listened to the ANMF’s concerns about the need for safe, quality care, and we urge her to continue to progress the implementation of critical aged care reforms that will lead to better standards and health outcomes.”

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