Spot checks won't fix bigger issue says QNMU
THE Queensland Nurses and Midwives Union says a Federal Government announcement of unannounced spot checks at all aged care facilities won't address staffing shortages.
Secretary Beth Mohle said the move would only pick up problems caused by understaffing, rather than addressing it.
"Queensland and Australian aged care nurses know the majority of Australian aged care facilities are chronically understaffed,'' she said.
"While we welcome increased inspections of Australian aged care facilities, it is clear any issues identified will likely be the result of dangerously low numbers of aged care nurses and other staff..
"We welcome spot, unannounced checks. However, in the face of chronic and widespread understaffing, these random inspections are akin to putting the ambulance at the bottom of the cliff.
"The QNMU want to see a fence erected at the top of the cliff to stop poor outcomes before they occur. The fence is minimum staffing ratios and proper skill mix."
The QNMU maintains that a nurse to patient ratio is the only viable, practical solution.
There are currently no laws on staffing in aged care.
"We have repeatedly called on the Federal Government to introduce safe staffing legislation for aged care facilities so these life threatening issues don't occur in the first place," Ms Mohle said.