We interviewed, Chris Dougherty, General Manager, Human Resources Prescare & Professor Michael Woods, Centre of Health Economics Research & Evaluation, University of Technology Sydney. Here is their Insights on what the challenges and wins the aged care sector has faced in 2018:
Chris Dougherty, General Manager, Human Resources Prescare
“The largest challenge was the looming threat of a royal commission and the impact it had on the workforce”.
Which is already challenged by:
- Struggling retention rates
- Struggling recruitment Numbers
- Numbers in the sector generally to fund, pay for and deliver services
Some things Chris Dougherty is considering distinctively in Prescare is the changing demographic of the customers and the impact that it’s going to have on Prescare’s workforce.
“Baby boomers are going to change dramatically in the way they want and need and demand services to be delivered in their homes and in residential facilities” Chris said.
The ageing in place policy, as it starts to bear fruit from a federal government shows that residential facilities will become more acute in their care and people will be staying there not as long as they are now. Because it will be the place that they will move into when they have got no other option.
“This transition completely changes the profile of skills and jobs in the sector. That has been Prescare’s focus over the last 12 months”. Chris said.
Michael Woods, Centre of Health Economics Research & Evaluation, University of Technology Sydney
“The aged care sector is a sector, I have been involved in the last few decades”
The aged care sector has been going through some significant reforms over the last 4-6 years and there are many consumer benefits that come from that. Significantly more information available in terms of options for the ageing population.
In terms of home care services there is much more control over the services provided. In residential care people can now either pay on a rental basis or a lump sum and there has been a significant refurbishment in the residential care sector that has impacted the quality of the accommodation offering.
“I think it can be improved on what it used to be”. Michael Said
There is still areas of reform where there have been issues related to safety and quality that do need to be addressed.
“This will be dealt with through a royal commission that will be formally commencing in the near future. But the sector has a pathway of reform that is remarkably consistent starting back from the 2011 productivity commission report through to the present day including the June report last year. So then there is a strong coherence review from the party whereas the consumers, providers, the aged care workforce, financiers all have a common vision in reasonable parameters as to what the aged care reforms are.” Michael explained.
So the big issues that were seen in 2018 according to Michael were, looking at the ageing population more generally with a view to move out of having an aged care system and to focus on how we can best provide care and support for the older population.