Rebekha Sharkie pursues transparency in aged care staffing
The Bill, introduced on the 22nd July, was seconded by Helen Haines the Independent member for Indi in Victoria.
Ms Sharkie cited the ‘deeply troubling” Royal Commission evidence to argue that parliament should embrace any efforts to improve accountability and transparency and this Bill “was a first step in the right direction”. She noted that the CEO of provider association, Aged and Community Services, had endorsed staffing transparency in principle when giving evidence in February 2019.
A parliamentary committee had recommended her 2018 Bill be passed but had said it would be beneficial for the public to know they were comparing like with like.
To this end, the Bill was amended to include a requirement for provider staffing figures to be published by the Department in categories according to their level of government funding that is, according to levels of resident acuity (dependency).
In its submission to the Royal Commission, Elder Care Watch has argued that staffing figures for a particular home should be also on public display in that home and thus readily accessible to residents and their families.
Ms Sharkie called on the Morrison government to implement the measures in her amended Bill (for details on the Bill see 2018 posting on previous page, linked below).
At the same time, she introduced another aged care Bill. This would require all aged-care workers and volunteers to be screened for any history of misconduct. The details
would be registered on a national database. This Bill (Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission Amendment (Worker Screening Database) Bill 2019) was seconded by Zali Steggall, Independent member for Warringah in NSW.