The National Aged Care Campaign for which ANMF Tasmanian Branch have been an integral part, remains in full swing with many positive outcomes. To date the ANMF campaign has resulted in a Senate Inquiry into the Financial and Tax Practice of For Profit Aged Care Providers; a significant media focus on residential aged care and staffing levels; and the announcement of a Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety which ANMF will make a submission to. These are significant outcomes for the aged care sector with focus now shifting to gaining support from Tasmanian Federal sitting MP’s to pledge their support for ratios in the lead up to the next Federal Election. ANMF Tasmanian Branch would like to thank Senator Nick McKim, Independent member for Denison Andrew Wilkie and Federal Labor member for Bass, Ross Hart for their support in pledging to the campaign. We would also like to thank our dedicated Workplace Reps and members who have been instrumental in driving this campaign and achieving such positive outcomes. For more information about the senate inquiry and what it means read more here…

Royal Commission Request To Providers

In late November, the Royal Commission wrote to the top 100 aged care providers requesting they respond to a survey asking for details of instances of sub-standard care and complaints received over the last five years. Providers have also been asked to identify what actions they have taken in response, what they have done to improve their service and what they see as barriers to improving service. 

The top 100 providers were asked to submit their response by 7 January 2019 and other providers by 8 February 2019. 

Providers can elect not to respond to the request. However, for those who do, they will need to gather a lot of information in a short timeframe. 

If you are asked to assist in collecting information, remember the request must be reasonable and all the usual conditions of employment apply - such as breaks and overtime payments. 

The Royal Commission is seeking evidence from providers within a legal framework. If you are asked to exclude or alter any information, or feel pressured not to tell your own story to the Commission, it is imperative that you contact your union branch for advice. For contact details of your ANMF Branch visit http://anmf.org.au/ pages/anmf-branches 

Please see the ANMF FAQ sheet for more details about legal obligations under a Royal Commission. Remember, if you are concerned about any conduct affecting quality of care in your facility, you should contact the Aged Care Complaints Commission on 1800 550 552 or visit the website: https://www. agedcarecomplaints.gov.au/internet/accc/ publishing.nsf/content/home 

The ANMF Response

 The ANMF has established a working group of union officers from across the country, all with expertise in aged care, to prepare a national submission to the Royal Commission. The submission will draw on the extensive material already gathered by the ANMF over many years of campaigning and responding to inquiries into aged care. Key to the submission will be presenting the evidence in support of minimum staffing ratios and appropriate skill mixes in aged care. 

The Federal Office has engaged legal representatives to provide advice and representation at the Commission. Via our lawyers, the ANMF has introduced itself to the Commissioners and outlined the approach the submission will take. We will listen carefully at the preliminary hearing of the Royal Commission on 18 January 2019, where the procedure for making submissions and attending hearings will be set out for the coming months. 

We will continue to provide updates on the progress of the Royal Commission throughout 2019. 

You can contact the ANMF confidentially at anmffederal@anmf.org.au for urgent issues in relation to the Royal Commission. 

If you would like to get involved and find out more about our campaign for ratios in aged care visit http://timeforruby.anmf.org.au or https:// www.facebook.com/morestaffforagedcare. 

If in doubt about the purpose, role or powers of the Royal Commission, please contact the ANMF for further information. For contact details of the ANMF Federal Offices and Branches visit http://anmf.org.au/pages/contact-anmf