Author: Editor

Focus shifts to nursing staff as job cuts rise

The spotlight on aged care has shifted from fees to staff cuts this week, with a push by the major nursing unions to highlight slashed positions and reduced hours. In Queensland, 126 aged care facilities are expected to be affected by staff cuts according to Queensland Nurses and Midwives’ Union secretary Beth Mohle. “Blue Care/Wesley Mission Brisbane recently announced plans to reduce overtime and create below award wages, to introduce split shifts of as little as one hour and to diminish all job security for nurses and personal carers,” Ms Mohle told a Bundaberg news service. “Aged care staff are already the lowest paid health workers in Queensland, with some earning up to $600 less a fortnight than their public health colleagues.” “This in contrast to BCWMB which is part of UnityCare Queensland – a group that reported a 2015 surplus of more than $40 million.” QNMU regional organiser Linda Fuller said aged care was already in a critical state and providers are downplaying the extent of staffing cuts, which are in response to federal Government funding cuts. “At a time when we should be increasing, we’re decreasing,” Ms Fuller said. “They’ve all got to reapply for their positions at a reduced rate.” Ms Fuller said of the 16 enrolled nurses employed at the Pioneer Aged Care Facility, six could reapply for their positions but would face reduced hours....

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Southern Cross, Federal Government in blame game over staffing cuts

Elderly nursing home residents, nursing and care staff are the victims of the “blame game” between Southern Cross Care (SCC) and the Federal Government over a decision by SCC to slash over 2000 crucial nursing hours from its aged care facilities, according to the Australian Nursing Midwifery Federation (ANMF). Despite recording a profit of over $6 million in Queensland alone for the financial year ended 30 June 2016, the national provider says Federal Government funding cuts are the reason why the organisation was being forced to review its operations. “SCC blames the Government and the Government blames SCC. Quite...

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HESTA invests in Australia’s first dementia village

HESTA has invested $19 million in Australia’s first village designed to recreate real life experiences for those living with dementia have been unveiled. “Korongee” is a partnership between Glenview, HESTA, Social Ventures Australia and to be built with the assistance of the Commonwealth Government, with the village structure to be based on a typical Tasmanian cul de sac streetscape that allows residents to feel at home and wander freely within a safe and supported environment. Glenview Chairman Iain Weir said Korongee, located in the Tasmanian suburb of Glenorchy, would be the first of its kind in Australia to offer...

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Gender equality and violence prevention focus at Southern Cross

A violence prevention program by a not-for-profit aged care provider and a community-based organisation for women of immigrant and refugee backgrounds has been given a boost, thanks to a grant from the Victorian Government through the Community Partnerships for Primary Prevention Program. Southern Cross Care (Vic) and the Multicultural Centre for Women’s Health (MCWH) will receive a grant for their partnership project, Equality@Work, which aims to develop and implement a culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) specific workplace model to prevent family violence and other forms of violence. Executive Manager of Workforce and Culture at Southern Cross Care (Vic), Danielle Rose, said the grant will enable the organisation to further develop its gender equality and violence prevention model. “Women account for over 88 per cent of our total workforce of 1400 employees, of which, more than 60 per cent are from a CALD background,” she said. “Through our partnership with MCWH, we want to provide opportunities for women from a non-English speaking background to take a leadership role in championing gender equality and violence prevention, and to be involved in the engagement and development of a shared action plan that is meaningful to them.” The partnership project will also build on the existing relationship between the organisations. In 2013, Southern Cross Care (Vic) introduced a women’s health education program across the organisation followed by a women’s leadership program, both facilitated by...

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Expansion plans for new support workers’ online marketplace

Listed healthtech company Novita Healthcare Ltd has raised $2.5m to support the acquisition of Newly, an online marketplace for aged care and disability support workers. The investment will be used to accelerate the development of Newly’s technology and services. The first new innovation will enable aged care and disability facility managers to go directly online to search Newly’s large and growing database of carers to find a real-time, quality assured match. Newly also plans to expand interstate from Victoria, where it is based, initially to Queensland. Founders Bill Mountford and Helen Kemp say that Newly is not a typical online disruptor. “In fact, we are shaking up the recent spate of start-ups in the aged care and disability support markets by revolutionising the way carers are screened and recruited.” Helen and Bill both have deep experience in public and private health sectors, especially in aged care and will continue to operate the business with Helen as CEO. They understand that providing care to an elderly person suffering from dementia or a young person with autism is very different to getting a ride across town in a stranger’s car. “In particular, our clients and the people they look after need to be assured on key issues such as the background, skills and personal attributes of carers and support workers,” Helen said. “We are pleased to now focus on delivering market-leading...

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