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Nurses Organisation backs Human Rights Commission report on the Aged Care sector

27 May 2012:

The New Zealand Nurses Organisation (NZNO) commends the Human Rights Commission (HRC) for its excellent report into conditions in the Aged Care sector and is very pleased with the report’s recommendations. The report sends a clear signal to the Government and all New Zealanders that the Aged Care sector needs an overhaul.

NZNO Industrial Adviser Rob Haultain says, “The report confirms what we’ve been fighting for. Unions have been campaigning for minimum safe staffing levels so that every resident gets the care they need, when they need it, for fair pay and conditions for aged care workers so their work is valued at the same level as health workers in public hospitals, a nationally recognised training and education programme for all aged care staff and a guarantee all government funding is earmarked for the quality care of residents.  Safe and professional care for aged care residents cannot be achieved without these core requirements being met”

“We hope the Government starts implementing the HRC’s recommendations right away.”

“Currently DHBs pass on funding to aged care providers in the full knowledge that workers will be getting pay rates that are far below what they would earn if they were doing the same job in a hospital. That’s not right. We are pleased to see the HRC recommend a more transparent process.”

Nurses and carers are also pleased to see the report is recommending that voluntary standards for safe aged care and dementia care, and the current voluntary standards for the home and community support sector become compulsory.

“We’ve seen voluntary standards being ignored and failing our elders and those who care for them for decades now. It’s time to make them compulsory. Let’s hope the Government listens to the Human Rights Commission,” says Haultain.

“A Minister for Older People in a top ten cabinet position would be a great start. NZNO looks forward to meeting with everybody who has a stake in the Aged Care sector at the HRC Summit!”

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