21 November 2016

Aged care workforce on a crutch

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A parliamentary inquiry has brought to light concerns of training deficiencies, accreditation needs and future staffing levels in the aged care sector.

Almost 300 submissions have been received from both the NFP and for-profit sectors.

Chair of the Community Affairs References Committee, WA Greens Senator Rachel Siewert said some of the biggest concerns were around staff training and retention.

"The issues that have come up are around inconsistent and inadequate training, remuneration and wages, lack of a career path and concerns about the growth of the workforce into the future, which keeps coming up again and again,” she said.

Staff retention and turnover in the aged care sector is a growing concern, with the average annual turnover now at 25 per cent.

The strain on the sector’s workforce comes in the wake of a $1.2 billion Federal Government funding cut.

The repercussions of inadequate staffing, however, are predicted to be much greater with adverse events due to staffing estimated to cost $4 billion annually.

Short staffing affects both the organisation’s finances and reputation - short staffed units have higher costs and are unable to deliver a satisfactory level of care.

The most prevalent factors affecting staff retention are organisational- working conditions and job satisfaction ranked above personal factors when a person decided to stay with or leave the organisation.

With the rapid changes occurring in the sector driven by CDC and shortage of skilled aged care workers, providers need to rethink their retention strategies to minimise financial costs and deliver a high standard of care.

Don't miss Akolade's just released Aged Care Workforce Growth Strategies Conference, sharing how to adapt your workforce strategy to drive business viability and financial sustainability.

Claire Dowler is a Conference Producer with Akolade. She recently graduated with a double degree: a Bachelor of Journalism and a Bachelor of Media and Communications Studies majoring in International Communication. Claire minored in sarcasm and puns.
A ballroom-dancer who collects salt and pepper shakers and volunteers for animal rescue, you might say Claire has eclectic interests.

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