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aged care

Stocktake on commonwealth-funded aged care activities

Minister Susan Ley
Minister Susan Ley

Dec. 12 – More-than-half of all taxpayer-funded aged care workforce programmes have never had their performance reviewed or evaluated, leading to questions as to whether they are achieving “significant and lasting impact on aged care workforce activities”, a new stocktake has found.

Minister for Aged Care Sussan Ley and Assistant Minister for Health Ken Wyatt today released the Stocktake and Analysis of Commonwealth-funded Aged Care Workforce Activities report.

Ms Ley said the stocktake had been a positive exercise in helping better inform Government about how to ensure “every dollar spent is a dollar invested in improving quality care for older people and their carers, not simply unproductive programmes and bureaucracy”.

“A key objective of the Stocktake was to highlight areas of duplication or gaps in the Government’s approach and identify synergies between the aged care, disability and health workforces,” Ms Ley said.

“This report raises questions about inefficiencies and duplication in the system, particularly in more-costly programmes, as well as a clear lack of checks and balances in place to ensure programmes are actually delivering what they promise.

“It also raises the prospect that the programmes and resources needed to help fill skill gaps and shortages are already available, there just needs to be better communication around how to access them.

“We want to ensure the $220m over the 4 years from 2015/2016 that taxpayers are investing in improving workforce development in the aged care sector is delivering better quality care for older Australians and this stocktake is an important step towards achieving that.”

The stocktake was undertaken as part of the Government’s 2014 Budget commitment to ensure aged care workforce programmes were delivering value for money following the return of $1.5 billion back to providers’ basic subsidy.

Assistant Minister for Health Ken Wyatt said workforce development was something constantly raised with him by aged-care providers.

“There’s broad recognition that quality workforce training and development is essential in the aged care sector,” Mr Wyatt said.

“But there’s also acknowledgement in the sector the current funding system is clunky and therefore not always supporting the best outcomes for older Australians.

“The Commonwealth provides 65 per cent of all aged care funding in Australia and this is something we want to get right for current and future generations.”

An Aged Care Workforce Advisory Group – a sub-group of the Aged Care Sector Committee – was established to provide advice on the Stocktake. Minister Ley noted the Stocktake found 54 Australian Government funded activities were identified, which supported the aged care workforce between 2011-12 and 2013-14.

Workforce training and education is a shared responsibility between the government and industry, as providers have obligations under the Aged Care Act 1997 to ensure there are adequate numbers of appropriately skilled staff to meet the individual care needs of residents.

The Stocktake acknowledged that the industry is also supported by mainstream cross-sector activities such as through the Vocational Education and Training sector. The Stocktake can be found here: