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31 March 2022

Senator Rex Patrick has welcomed passage of the Aged Care and Other Legislation Amendment (Royal Commission Response No. 2) Bill 2021 through the Senate which was amended to require Aged Care Facilities to have registered nurses on site 24/7.

"I thank Labor, the Greens and the crossbench who all supported my amendment that will ensure that aged care residents get the care they need. Registered nurses in aged care 24/7 was a recommendation of the Royal Commission into aged care."

"The Government didn't vote for my amendment, they simply didn't oppose it. They knew I had the numbers," said Senator Patrick. "It's highly likely the Government will now try to bury their own Bill in the House in order to resist imposing the Royal Commission recommendation on Aged Care Providers. They are more interested in the helping their business constituents, rather than the elderly."

Senator Patrick has alerted Labor's Aged Care shadow minister, Clare O'Neil to the Bill's passage through the Senate and has asked her to try to get the Bill brought on for debate today, the last sitting day of the 46th Parliament.

​​​​​​​"I have also spoken to other colleagues in the House to get them to work the numbers. This is so important for the residents of Aged Care facilities and their families, it can't be left to squander".

​​​​​​​"For the sake of our loved ones in the aged care system, I am calling on the Government to do the right thing and deal with this Bill in the House as a matter of urgency.”

“Since October last year, the Government has deliberately delayed the Parliament in dealing with this Bill because they knew the Senate would support my amendment to implement the Royal Commission’s 24/7 registers nurse recommendation."

“Rather than work proactively to improve things for our elderly citizens, the Government deliberately kicked the can down the road to be dealt with who knows when.”

“I’m concerned many aged care residents are not getting the care they need, and that their care is highly variable depending on where they are located across Australia. The inconsistent approach leads to variations, often negative in nature, in the level of care and quality provided to residents.” 

“Proper care for our elderly is critical and it requires aged care homes to have registered nurses on site at all times. Having a registered nurse present in an approved aged care facility will improve the quality of end of life care; improve communication between residents, family and other health care professionals; and promote wellbeing issues that affect restorative care.”

“My amendment to the Government’s Aged Care and Other Legislation Amendment (Royal Commission Response No. 2) Bill 2021 is supported by a number of key organisations with members directly involved in aged care including the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation. The Government should not stand in way of this Bill becoming law.”