Off-loading to hospitals

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One of Brisbane’s major hospitals has drawn attention to the “extraordinary” rate of aged care patients from one northside healthcare facility being ‘dumped’ in the hospital’s emergency department for basic care.

In a recent report in The Australian, three senior medical sources at the hospital note that the admissions were typically for minor catheter and wound management, services for which aged care providers receive federal government funds.

Hospitals have been critical of the growing frequency in the use of the money-saving move that is allegedly becoming part of care homes’ “business model”.

Another report by SBS News Online sees the spotlight shone on private aged care facilities being unwilling to hire more nursing and care staff.

Conversation starter

Have you or your family witnessed such transfers? Did you believe they were necessary? Were you of the understanding that the aged care facility concerned would provide such nursing care on-site? Did you have the reverse experience, i.e., would you have preferred that a transfer to a hospital took place?

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Care in aged care facilities

Training

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Aged care workers are the backbone of the sector. Without nurses, personal care workers and other aged care staff, this article notes, Australia’s vulnerable elderly and infirm could flounder.

But ensuring all personnel received sufficient training remains an ideal yet to be reached. Stemming the tide of under-prepared personnel is one aspect being looked at by the sector’s experts.

Recently Professor John Pollaers – who is head of the Aged Care Workforce Strategy Taskforce – spoke at the Quality in Aged Care Conference in Sydney.

Reporting his speech, aged care review website HelloCare said Professor Pollaers told conference attendees that, while people were in this industry “because they care”, the Taskforce would be looking at, among other things, current and future education and training provided to all staff.

Conversation starter

Have you – or someone you care about – seen evidence of the level of training in a residential aged care facility? What was the issue that drew your attention? Was any shortfall raised with the facility’s management? What was the response?

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Care in aged care facilities