Aged care star ratings reveal two thirds of homes don’t provide enough care

Aged and Community Care Providers Association head Tom Symondson said the community needed to recognise “nurses, personal care workers and allied health professionals don’t grow on trees”.

“I think the reality is we cannot find enough people in Australia today to fill all the roles we need,” Symondson said, adding the industry wanted to bring more people in from overseas to fulfil short-term requirements.

Wells said: “Migration is an important way to support the growth of the aged care workforce but it is not a silver bullet.”


Anglicare Sydney head Simon Miller, who oversees Newmarch House in western Sydney, where 17 residents died from one coronavirus outbreak during the pandemic, said the three-star rating for the facility was “deserved and expected”, but argued the real focus should be on the workforce.

“We will continue to look to partner with government in meaningful ways to enable improvement in aged care, including better pay for our staff,” he said.

Nine per cent of homes were given two stars or fewer for resident experience, which takes into account whether residents feel safe, respected, and whether they like the food.

However, Dietitians Australia chief executive Robert Hunt said greater emphasis should be on the nutritional quality of the overall menu, following repeated complaints from families of residents about what their loved ones are being served.

“Dietitians Australia is demanding the government mandate this as a requirement for all
providers, at a minimum annually to ensure food is improved across all homes,” he said.

The data compiled by the government also showed that 17 per cent of providers received two stars or fewer for the quality of the care, which factored in the number of pressure injuries, the use of physical restraints and the quality of medical management.

An image of food served in an Australian aged care home.Credit:Aged Care Reform Now

Lynda Saltarelli, part of advocacy group Aged Care Crisis, said the star ratings were “based on the goodwill of aged care providers who have ample opportunity to cover their tracks, and whose business models depend on positive PR [public relations], to report and even ‘adjust’ information prior to publication.”

Ratings for quality of care and staffing levels are self-reported.

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