Dr Anthony Lynham


New laws guaranteeing safe staffing levels in public aged care

Aged Care Transparency

3 December, 2019 –

Queenslanders deserve to be able to access information about the health facilities they use, whether that’s public or private hospitals or aged care.

The Palaszczuk Government’s Health Transparency Bill creates a framework to collect and publish information about public and private hospitals and aged care facilities.

Thanks to these laws, hospitals and aged care facilities will be required to provide key information about their facilities, including information about staffing levels.

If facilities don’t comply, we’ll be able to name and shame them – because Queenslanders deserve to know if hospitals and aged care facilities won’t be transparent with them.

Safe staffing levels in public aged care

The Federal Government is responsible for regulating and funding residential aged care facilities in all states and territories – Queensland can’t fix staffing or regulation for most aged care facilities.

Where we can make a difference is in the 16 residential aged care facilities run by Queensland Health, which care for over 1,000 older Queenslanders.

That’s why the Palaszczuk Government made a commitment at the 2017 election to implement safe staffing levels in state-run aged care facilities. The new laws deliver on that commitment.

The Bill establishes minimum standards of staffing and care for public residential aged care facilities.

It does this by introducing a minimum nurse and registered nurse skill mix ratio, as well as by setting minimum hours of care that must be provided to each resident each day.

With these laws, Queensland is leading the way nationally when it comes to safe staffing levels in state-run residential aged care facilities.

Evidence shows increased nurse-to-patient ratio leads to improved quality of care and ultimately better patient outcomes.

We’ve also made the commitment to older Queenslanders that every aged care facility run by Queensland Health will have at least one registered nurse on-duty and on-site at all times, no exceptions.

We will continue to lobby the Australian Government to advocate for safe staffing levels in other aged care facilities.