Caring counts – recommendations
- The Prime Minister ensures that the minister with responsibility for older people has a top ten Cabinet ranking to deliver better services, and to provide leadership and co-ordination across ministerial portfolios.
- The Minister of Health directs District Health Boards (DHBs) to develop a mechanism to achieve pay parity between health care assistants working in DHBs and carers working in home support and residential facilities.
- DHBs and residential care and home support providers implement pay parity for carers across the government-funded health sector within three years.
3. Fair Travel
- The Ministry of Health and DHBs develop a sustainable and consistent fair travel policy which is annually reviewed and adjusted, and which covers the real and actual costs of travelling including vehicle costs and time spent travelling.
- Providers in the aged care sector and the ITO (Careerforce) commit to ensuring all new staff achieve a Level 2 Foundation Skills qualification within six months of starting and that all existing staff achieve this qualification in the next two years. Within five years, Level 3 should become the normal level of qualification for all staff with 18 months service or more.
5. Safety Standards
- The voluntary standard “Indicators for safe aged-care and dementia-care for consumers” should become compulsory to ensure the protection of both carers and older people.
- The “Home and Community Support Sector” standard must also be compulsory.
6. Consumer information
- A five star system of quality assurance comparing residential facilities, with the aim of improving consumer choice and public accountability, is developed and adopted for use in New Zealand by the Ministry of Health and DHBs with input from the Auditor-General (A-G).
- District Health Boards provide disclosure in their annual reports that makes explicit expectations about ‘passing through’ annual funding increases and details the fair travel and equal pay provisions in aged care service delivery contracts.
8. Migrant workers
- Immigration New Zealand ensures information about qualifications and registration requirements is available in countries of origin and develops best practice guidance for migrant workers in aged care.
9. Diversity of carers
- Health Workforce New Zealand provides leadership on the recruitment of men as paid carers, the promotion of ‘encore careers’ in aged care, and the development of strategies that encourage part-time paid carers to increase their hours of work.
10. Valuing carers
- The Human Rights Commission hosts a stakeholder summit with government agencies, peak bodies, providers, Age Concern and Grey Power, trade unions and community groups to enhance sector cooperation and to promote and celebrate the paid aged care workforce.
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