The NSW Nurses and Midwives’ Association (NSWNMA) has welcomed the notice served by Shooters, Fishers and Farmers’ MLC Robert Brown to introduce a bill to define a ‘nursing home’ in the Public Health Act 2010.
This morning, Hon. Robert Brown MLC took gave notice in the Legislative Council to introduce the Public Health Amendment (Registered Nurses in Nursing Homes) Bill 2016, which will protect the requirement to keep at least one registered nurse in a nursing home at all times.
In his speech to parliament, Mr Brown said, “keeping registered nurses on staff in nursing homes is fundamental to quality aged care”.
NSWNMA General Secretary, Brett Holmes has commended Mr Brown’s efforts.
“We’re pleased to hear that Mr Brown is taking action to put a stop to legislative changes that would lead to the destabilisation of our aged care sector.
“The NSW government’s decision to remove this requirement goes against the recommendations from the inquiry into registered nurses in NSW nursing homes, which received unanimous cross party support to keep RNs in residential aged care facilities for people with high care needs.
“As Mr Brown said, reinstating this requirement is not a difficult legislative change to make. The fact the Government has washed its hands of all responsibility suggests they are more focused on profits than quality care.
“If we don’t stop this, most of the care in nursing homes will be delivered by an unlicensed and unregulated workforce who can qualify as aged care workers by simply completing a short online training course. These workers are a cheap source of labour for aged care providers and could also be at risk of exploitation themselves.
“The NSWNMA will support Mr Brown as he and the Upper House crossbench unanimously defend the legal requirement for a registered nurse on site at all times in aged care facilities where there are people with high care needs.”
Download this media release: NSWNMA commends Shooters, Fishers and Farmers MLC
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