16 March 2018
In November 2017 the Government announced the establishment of an Aged Care Workforce Strategy Taskforce (the Taskforce), which is developing an Aged Care Workforce Strategy (the Strategy).
The Taskforce will reference the June 2017 report of the Senate Community Affairs References Committee inquiry into the future of the aged care sector workforce, to which the RACGP provided a submission. It will also reference the workforce-related observations in the government commissioned Legislated Review of Aged Care 2017 and the Review of National Aged Care Quality Regulatory Processes.
The RACGP provided a response to the Taskforce on the Strategy in March 2018. The RACGP raised a number of issues for consideration by the Taskforce, including:
- lack of remuneration for the significant amount of non-clinical work undertaken by GPs to support aged care patients
- challenges faced by GPs providing aged care services due to a lack of infrastructure and support, poor integration of services, time pressures and clinical complexity
- need for highly trained and readily available registered nurses in Residential Aged Care Facilities (RACFs), and for improved retention and remuneration of nursing staff
- potential challenges posed by the rise in alternative models for accessing GP care in RACFs, including RACFs hiring their own GPs to provide ‘in-house’ services
- proposed removal of the GP Aged Care Access Incentive in 2019
- need to increase knowledge and accessibility of the My Aged Care website
- projected growth in the number of people with dementia in RACFs, and the need for enhanced training for GPs and nurses to care for them.