Federal government funding changes have abolished the distinction between high care and low care nursing home residents. NSW is currently the only Australian state with legislation requiring that nursing homes with high care residents have a registered nurse (division 1) on site 24 hours a day. Scrapping the demarcation between high and low care residents makes this requirement meaningless.
The Baird state government initially passed interim legislation maintaining the registered nurse requirement in high care nursing homes but is now considering letting the laws lapse.
The nursing home industry is run by some very large companies. Many of these see staffing standards as an unwanted restriction on their business practice. Charles Wurf, CEO of Leading Age Services NSW-ACT, a peak industry body, is for scrapping the registered nurse requirements, saying, “The slow measured retreat from regulating nursing homes in NSW in favour of a national aged care system is both sound and appropriate”.
Imagine if the Aged Care sector did the right thing. Of their own volition. Because it made sense. Both financial and human sense.