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Comprehensive national aged care standard

The delivery of age services to a comprehensive national standard is an important priority of the federal government, according to Charles Wurf, chief executive of Leading Age Services Australia NSW-ACT.
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Charles Wurf, chief executive of Leading Age Services Australia (LASA) NSW-ACT.

Through the Aged Care Act and associated national legislation, there is comprehensive regulation, pricing and funding systems, as well as comprehensive quality and complaints framework.

“This has been the case, with continual evolution and reform, for half a century. Over the same half century, the NSW government has by increments repealed state specific legislation in favour of the comprehensive national age services system. The 1988 NSW Nursing Homes Act was repealed well over a decade ago," Mr Wurf says.

With the introduction of the Gillard government’s reforms to aged care, commencing in 2013, Mr Wurf claims the comprehensive end to end reforms styled Living Longer, Living Better, the old framework of ‘nursing homes’ has all but ended.

Reform has been in favour of a renewed focus on the care needs of each individual, with assessment leading to individualised services provided in the home or in a residential care setting, he says.

All such services are subject to comprehensive quality controls and monitoring provided by the national aged care system.

“The current debate of legislating nurses in nursing homes by the NSW government is simply moot, as it seeks to regulate a system long since evolved for the better,” he says.

According to Mr Wurf, the national aged care system comprehensively provides for assessed need to be delivered in the home or in residential care, by properly qualified staff to meet the care needs of the individual.

“In this case, regulatory repeal by the NSW government, by continuing the slow measured retreat from regulating nursing homes in NSW in favour of a national aged care system, is both sound and appropriate.

“The ultimate beneficiary will be each older Australian, as a care system continues to evolve to provide the right care at the right time, and in the right place," he says.

LASA NSW-ACT will host its state Congress, Grasping the opportunities, in Sydney tomorrow (Thursday, 28 May 2015) and on Friday (29 May 2015). DPS News will be in Sydney reporting live on the Congress' session topics, which includes practical experiences from providers in building new services models from scratch and how Consumer Directed Care may assist in moving aged care to a consumer led market.

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