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Insight

Counsel Assisting recommendations are ambitious and likely unfeasible - where to now?

Darrell Price
By:
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Recommendations from Counsel Assisting, the Aged Care Royal Commission Final Report, the Budget - what will it mean for you and your workforce, and how much will a new aged care system really cost?
Contents

The Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety (RCACQS) hands down its report on Friday (26 February 2021). Counsel Assisting the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety (RCACQS) provided 124 recommendations for consideration by Commissioners Briggs and Pagone in October.

What we are about to learn are the differences in recommendations between Counsel Assisting and the Final Report, what this means for providers, how practical it will be to implement them and how much it will cost the government to implement all the recommendations.

Implications for workforce

There are 20 recommendations from Counsel Assisting that have a direct impact on workforce, ranging from increased minimum staffing levels, new categories of support, assignment of care managers for people receiving care and re-profiling of all aged care occupations to assess skills and structures required under a new model of care. Some of these recommendations have implementation dates as early as the end of this year. Most are recommended for mid-2022. The speed at which the Government and aged care sector must respond is tremendous.

All of these will have a direct impact on the level of funding the government will be required to find to deliver the outcomes the community and providers are seeking.

 

Watch our webinar where we explore the business impact of the final report through an analysis of the impacts of the Counsel Assisting’s recommendations and the final report from Commissioners Briggs and Pagone.

Watch on-demand

For example, eliminating the home care waitlist by December 2021 will require an additional 175,000 employees nationally. This is in addition to the 225,000 currently employed. To achieve that number would mean 25,000 new people recruited, trained and on boarded per month for the rest of the year. This does not take into account the usual recruitment to replace those retiring or otherwise exiting the industry.

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Where will these people come from and how will home care providers cope with accelerated growth in staffing as well as generate the revenue required to fund the extra people?

Our next report will examine the impacts of 20 recommendations related to workforce on home care, residential care and respite care. The industry is already struggling with business as usual and unlikely to cope with significant rapid change that is called for in Counsel Assisting’s recommendations.

If we need more nurses, personal care workers, allied health workers and others, how much more money will the government need to part with to accommodate this growth? Are the timeframes achievable? Perhaps most importantly, are they sustainable and enhance the health outcomes for consumers and career prospects for aged care professionals?

This is the fifth in our series of reports addressing concerns for the aged care industry and will call out the implications of not stabilising the sector prior to transformative change being implemented. Our report “A model for transformation and governance – the redesign of the aged care sector” brought ideas for creating sustainable and far reaching change to the industry.

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