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NZNO survey reveals horrific condition in aged care sector

Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Thursday, 17 January 2019, 5:58p.m.
83 per cent of respondents had concerns about the quality of work. (Photo / Getty)

The horrific conditions of our aged care sector have been laid out in a new survey of those in the industry.

The New Zealand Nurses Organisation asked nearly 1200 of its members, and they said residents are missing out on basic care like showering and toileting, as well as medication because staffing levels are so low.

The NZNO's David Wait told Andrew Dickens 83 per cent of respondents said elements of care were overlooked most or every shift.

He says that these nurses do want to deliver quality care, but a lack of numbers prevents them from doing that.

He says that this is tough for workers and residents.

"Some of the stuff that I saw in the survey was residents who didn't want to raise the call bell to speak with a nurse because they knew that the nurse was too busy."

Wait says that a lot of this is hidden from the public eye.

"One of the things we should be trying to achieve in residential aged care is to provide a pathway to rehabilitation, not just with continence but with mobility.

"Those things that making sure there are enough staff to take people to the toilet when they need it, those are things that have real effects on people."

One issue is a lack of staff, and Wait wants to see that addressed.

"There needs to be a minimum staffing level set so that residents and families now there is quality care."

However, he says that wages are the biggest place for these environments, which is affecting employment.

"Nurses are paid about 20 per cent less in aged care than they are in other arts of the health sector."


ON AIR: Overnight Talk

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