The Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation (ANMF) Tasmanian Branch today stated its serious and continued concerns for Southern Cross Care Aged Care residents and staff.
ANMF Branch Secretary Emily Shepherd said, “Rosary Gardens members this week advised Southern Cross Care (SCC) management had indicated they expected residents to help set tables for meals, make their own toast, make their own hot drinks and walk those drinks to the table.”
“We were also advised that residents who were unable to make it to the dining room would no longer receive a hot meal,” Ms Shepherd said.
“If these reports are correct, the ANMF and our members have grave concerns including infection control, risk to residents’ safety and the potential that this amounts to discrimination against the aged and also those with specific medical conditions.
“Furthermore, we note that many residents are admitted to higher care facilities precisely because they are not capable of safely performing simple home care duties such as making a cup of tea and going into an aged care facility is to actually receive care, not have to participate in the running of the facility.”
Ms Shepherd said the latest Enterprise Agreement (EA) being put to members is a further blow to a stressed and fatigued workforce and includes a loss of paid meal breaks for clinical staff.
“Currently the EA provides that a meal break will be taken within the 4th and the 6th hour.
“The ANMF understands SCC intends to remove this wording, therefore workers could be allocated a meal break in the 8th hour of work.
“The ANMF has also asked what shift patterns and rosters will look like if the paid meal break is removed. We are advised that will be sorted after the EA is voted on.”