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Access to staff information will benefit Queensland’s elderly

All private aged care homes in Queensland will be asked to publicly report their staffing information under legislation proposed by the State Government.

Ahead of an address to the Queensland Nurses and Midwives Union annual conference, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said elderly Queenslanders and their families deserved to have the best available information to make choices about their living arrangements.

“We know staff to patient ratios work in the health system, saving lives and money,” the Premier said.

“Now we want to see nurse-to-resident ratios help in the aged care sector, providing comfort and confidence for residents and their families.

“Revelations at the Royal Commission into Aged Care and recent events at the Earle Haven retirement village on the Gold Coast provide a stark reminder that elderly Queenslanders deserve the best possible care.”

“We want private aged care facilities to share their staffing levels for the sake of transparency.

“If they choose not to, we won’t be afraid to reveal the identity of those unwilling to do the right thing by elderly Queenlslanders.

Minister for Health and Ambulance Services Steven Miles said the laws would complement legislatively mandated nurse-to-resident ratios being implemented in Queensland’s 16 publicly owned aged care facilities.

“It makes sense that public and private facilities are on the same playing field when it comes to transparency and accountability,” Mr Miles said.

“Staffing is a vital factor when making such a decision – you want to know there are enough people working at the facility to ensure it is providing appropriate care and that staffing levels are safe.

“Private aged care is the responsibility of the Commonwealth Government but this is an initiative we believe should be in place for the sake of elderly Queenslanders.”

Queensland’s state-run residential aged care facilities will begin quarterly reporting of their staffing information this year.

The information will be included on an interactive website, which is being developed to help consumers compare private and public facilities when making decisions about their healthcare.

The interactive website will publish four categories of information about public and private hospitals:

  • general information

  • compliance information

  • access, process of care and patient outcome data at a hospital level and

  • access, process of care and patient outcome data for clinical specialities.

The Queensland Government will consult with private aged care industry, its peak industry bodies and the Commonwealth Department of Health over the drafting of the new legislation.

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