Royal Commission Submission – Fixed Staffing Ratios in Residential Aged Care

Published on 02 May 2019

For every complex problem, there is a solution that is neat, simple and wrong.’

H.L Mencken 1917

At this early stage of the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality & Safety (Royal Commission), the Commissioners have heard evidence on an aged care system in need of a substantial overhaul and transformation. In the face of the greatest demographic shift in our history, Australia is unprepared for the service needs of the Baby Boomer generation and must move quickly and decisively to ensure that our aged care sector is adequately resourced and sustainable.

At the same time, the Commissioners are hearing first-hand accounts of the system failing individuals. In some instances, the issues reflect under-resourcing driven by funding cuts, while others are examples of intentional abuse of individuals. In these circumstances, it is not surprising that many are seeking immediate answers to address the problem and the argument for the Fixed Staffing Ratios is being heavily promoted by the Australian Nursing Midwifery Federations (ANMF).

Ansell Strategic have produced the attached paper submitted to the Royal Commission which considers the practical application of Fixed Staff Ratios in residential aged care and leverages international research as well as our team’s own experience working under these systems overseas. We have also examined the assumptions used by the ANMF and Flinders University in its modelling of costs and benefits of the ANMF proposal.

In arriving at our conclusions, Ansell Strategic has consulted extensively with operators of residential aged care services across Australia. Interviews have been conducted with the Clinical Leaders (primarily nurses) responsible for the care of over 15,000 people in residential aged care.

To read more of the report please see the PDF below.