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Compulsory aged care sector standards needed says NZNO

28 August 2018

The New Zealand Nurses Organisation says the Government needs to review existing aged-care sector standards and set staffing levels to ensure quality care for our elderly.

NZNO Industrial Advisor David Wait said the Indicators for Safe Aged-Care and Dementia Care produced by Standards New Zealand, and widely used as a measure for staffing levels by the sector, are out-of-date and only voluntary.

"What the sector needs is for the Indicators to be reviewed and updated and then made compulsory as a minimum set of standards for all aged-care service providers in New Zealand," Mr Wait said.

He said the Human Rights Commission’s Caring Counts report of 2012 recommended compulsory indicators as did two separate inquiries by Grey Power, Labour and the Green parties.

"Here we are eight years down the track from the Human Rights Commission’s report and we haven’t acted on it. We’re still hearing unfortunate stories about standards of aged-care, and this is a source of considerable distress to some aged-care residents and their families."

Mr Wait said the current Indicators were good but that they haven’t been updated for 13 years and so do not take into account the increased needs of elderly residents.

On 27 August Associate Minister of Health Jenny Salesa said she was hugely concerned by any reports of mistreatment in rest homes and that the Government was looking to make improvements in this area.

Mr Wait said the Government should update the aged-care standards and set staffing levels to ensure quality care for our elderly.


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