It's been a year since the Morrison Federal Government tabled the final report of the Aged Care Royal Commission. 
Since then, not much has changed.
There are no ratios in aged care. There is no requirement for a Registered Nurse to be rostered 24/7. There have been no substantial wage increases, just one-off handouts on the eve of an election. And there is still no accountability for how providers spend taxpayer dollars. (Spoiler alert, these billions of dollars are not being spent on staffing or quality care.)
This federal election, nurses and midwives are demanding every political party commits to real reform in aged care, not just empty words and short-term fixes.


What's the issue in aged care? 

Hard-pressed nurses and care staff are doing their best in often impossible circumstances, but there are simply not enough of them to provide the quality care they know they can.
That’s because there are currently no laws dictating how many nurses and support staff are required to provide safe care.

Australia has strict staff ratios for childcare. But there are no ratios for aged care.
In the last five years, Australia’s estimated 900 private aged care providers have received more than $60 billion federal taxpayer dollars. They do not have to publicly report how any of the funds are spent.
Many providers are putting profits above quality care. This is why we need safe staffing and financial reporting to be made LAW in aged care.

How do we fix it? 

The QNMU, together with our federal body the ANMF, has four key reforms which must be addressed by the Federal Government to achieve the necessary changes in aged care.

  1. Registered Nurses on site 24/7
  2. Guaranteed ratios
  3. Transparency and accountability of funding
  4. Improved wages and conditions

Read more about the above priorities on our national campaign website.

What did the Royal Commission say?

After more than two years of hearings and evidence, the Royal Commission released its final report to the public on 1 March 2021. The report, titled Care, Dignity and Respect, makes 148 recommendations and calls for fundamental reform of the aged care system.
These wide-ranging recommendations include:

  • A new Aged Care Act that puts older people first, enshrining their rights and providing a universal entitlement for high quality and safe care based on assessed need.
  • An Inspector-General of Aged Care to identify and investigate systemic issues and to publish reports of its findings.
  • A plan to deliver, measure and report on high quality aged care, including independent standard-setting, a general duty on aged care providers to ensure quality and safe care, and a comprehensive approach to quality measurement, reporting and star ratings.
  • Professionalising the aged care workforce through changes to education, training, wages, labour conditions and career progression.
  • Registration of personal care workers as well as a minimum staff time standard for residential aged care.
  • A minimum quality and safety standard for staff time in residential aged care, including an appropriate skills mix and daily minimum staff time for registered nurses, enrolled nurses and personal care workers for each resident, and at least one registered nurse on site at all times.
  • Strengthened provider governance arrangements to ensure independence, accountability and transparency.
  • Funding to meet the actual cost of high quality care and an independent Pricing Authority to determine the costs of delivering it.

Read a summary of the final report and full list of recommendations. 

Latest updates

  • Our case to lift aged care Award wages by 25%
    Published: 28 April 2022

    Our case for a 25% increase to minimum (Award) wages for aged care nursing staff reached a crucial milestone this week, as union members and officials presented evidence before the Fair Work Commission.
    Read more

  • Labor promises critical aged care reforms
    Published: 01 April 2022

    In last night’s federal budget reply speech, Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese announced key aged care reforms, which the Labor Party would implement if elected.
    Read more

  • Scott Morrison is choosing to ignore aged care
    Published: 29 March 2022

    Today, Prime Minister Scott Morrison is delivering his final budget before the federal election. On key issues, Mr Morrison has been missing in action.
    Read more

  • Cash payments for aged care workers
    Published: 01 February 2022

    Aged care nurses and carers will be eligible to receive two lump-sum payments this year, totalling up to $800.
    Read more

  • Our application for 25% wage increase for aged care nursing staff – witness statements submitted
    Published: 13 December 2021

    As part of our case to secure a significant pay rise for all aged care nurses and carers, our national body, the ANMF, has now filed our witness statements in the Fair Work Commission (FWC).
    Read more

Join our national campaign

It has been a year since the Royal Commission handed down its final report but the crisis in aged care continues. Mr Morrison has not done his job. 

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Who's pledged to support aged care ratios?

Aged care workers are bravely speaking out about the chronic understaffing in our aged care facilities, but we need our federal politicians to act.
See if your local federal member has pledged to support ratios in aged care!  

See who's pledged

Spread the word! 

Please print and distribute the below resources to your friends, family and colleagues:
It's Not Too Much To Ask posters
Ratios for Aged Care campaign flyer  
Importance of Carers in aged care flyer
Aged care medication management flyer
Aged care 10 questions brochure