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Thursday, October 28, 2021

New Govt service to ensure aged care quality levels are up to scratch

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Home and residential aged care providers will develop coordinated workforce planning approaches under a new Federal Government service aimed at ensuring quality levels of personalised care are strengthened and maintained.

Minister for Senior Australians and Aged Care Services, Richard Colbeck, launched the Workforce Advisory Service on Monday, which will support aged care providers in attracting, retaining and skilling their workforce.

The independent, free and confidential service will assist aged care providers to be reform-ready, helping to develop coordinated service-level workforce training and skills plans, and leverage supports available across the sector to increase the skills of the workforce.

Colbeck said this will ensure workers can better access and hold the appropriate level of knowledge and skills to meet the individual care needs of senior Australians within a facility or service.

“This will be a win-win for workers, providers and senior Australians alike and will be an important step in building a world-class aged care workforce for Australia,” he said. 

“It will help aged care workers to acquire qualifications and training which will enhance their skills and knowledge and improve their career opportunities.

“It will support providers to implement workforce planning into business-as-usual.

“And it will help ensure senior Australians receive the individual, quality care they need and deserve.”

The workforce planning advice will be tailored to individual service needs and could include recommendations for widening the search for new workers.

Colbeck said aged care service delivery was becoming increasingly complex as people live longer with more chronic and complex conditions.

“This requires aged care providers to employ a larger workforce with more specialised skills and knowledge to be able to deliver consumer directed care to meet the diverse needs of senior Australians,” he said.

Establishing the Workforce Advisory Service is another response to the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety, which recommended funding for education and training to improve the quality of care and aligns with broader Government priorities to increase workforce skills and capabilities.

The service, provided by PricewaterhouseCoopers, is funded under a $5.9 million expansion of the Government’s Business Advisory Service, and advisors will use best practice guidance from industry while working with providers.

Colbeck said the Government will continue to work closely with the Aged Care Workforce Industry Council to provide workforce planning support to the nation’s aged care providers.

More information about the service is available here.

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