In undertaking his work, Professor John Pollaers OAM (Chairman Aged Care Workforce Strategy Taskforce at Australian Department of Health) uncovered some inescapable truths that impact on how the community views aged care and, indeed, how the industry sees itself.
The Strategy that he has set out identifies significant opportunities for the industry and individual organisations to respond to this environment and take its own lead in shaping the industry and its workforce into the future.
Framing the case for change, 3 Key Insights:
- A growing and diverse industry : The aged care industry is part of Australia’s broad and rapidly growing health care and social assistance industry and a significant contributor to regional and rural economies.
- Consumer preferences and expectations : Our definition of aged care consumers must be extended beyond those people accessing or using care services, to proactively include their families, carers, local communities and trusted entities.
- Evolving community expectations : An industry workforce strategy should reflect future trends, not just the issues of today. In particular it must reflect rapidly evolving community expectations, for services that support an elderly person’s quality of life.
Ageing and societal reform : Lessons learned from 2018
Professor John OAM Identified three platforms for broader reform:
- Shifting attitude – unity of leadership and societal reform. Strong leadership to bring about a change of attitude community-wide towards ageing and dying. Changing attitudes need to be driven by industry, all levels of government, together with the community.
- Reforming access – by re-framing caring to a broader, more proactive approach and enabling care to be provided in a simple, easy way (access to the right help, at the right time).
- Enhancing life – caring for the aged should not be a burden. Requires a new lens to be placed over processes, systems and attitudes. Care must add to the quality of someone’s life with a workforce enabled to make life for others better.
Here is an overview of the 14 strategic actions that Professor John Polares is looking to implement in his workforce reform strategy for 2018:
- Creation of a social change campaign to re-frame caring and promote the aged care workforce
- Voluntary industry code of practice
- Re-framing of the qualification and skills framework —addressing current and future competencies and skill requirements
- Defining new career pathways, including how the workforce is accredited
- Developing cultures of feedback and continuous improvement
- Establishing a new industry approach to workforce planning, including skills mix modelling
- Implementing new attraction and retention strategies for the workforce at government, industry and organisational levels
- Develop a revised workforce relations framework to better reflect the changing nature of work
- Strengthening the interface between aged care and primary/acute care
- Improved training and recruitment practices for the Australian Government aged care workforce
- Establishing a remote accord
- Establish an Aged Care Industry Growth and Research Translation Centre
- Current and future funding considerations, including staff remuneration
- Transitioning the industry and workforce to new standards