A ‘beautiful storm’ of factors has resulted in a record number of nursing homes closing across Australia in recent months, according to the National Council of Nursing and Midwifery.
Key points:The closure figures were released by the National Commission of Audit and the National Health Service, both of which are part of the Australian Government’s new Nursing and Dental Union.
The National Council has urged that nursing homes be allowed to stay open in the event of a coronavirus pandemic, but the State Government has said it will not allow any nursing homes to close.
NSW’s chief executive, Robyn O’Connor, has said that the state’s nursing homes must be able to stay closed.
“NSW has not only seen an unprecedented number of closures, but also an unprecedented spike in the number of new nursing homes opening,” Ms O’Connor said.
“[There is] a perfect storm in nursing homes across the state, with the health services already struggling to cope with the volume of cases and coronaviruses.”
She said there was also a “distressed situation” for many residents in NSW, with many of them being “struggling to maintain contact with loved ones”.
“Many are in constant contact with their families, often through a virtual surrogate or family member,” she said.
“Some are also relying on the services of other carers, which means that some of them have difficulty with their own wellbeing.”
It is a difficult time for them, especially for the elderly.
“Ms O’Connors comments come as the National Union of Nursing (NON) says the state is experiencing a “perfect storm” of factors.
While there is a significant increase in nursing home closures across the country, NSW has a particular problem with the number and number of residents staying in the care of their own families.
In NSW, there were more than 14,000 nursing homes open on January 1, 2016, compared to just 3,000 at the end of 2015, according the Nursing and Family Review.
NON has also warned that the number will increase if coronavillae continues to spread across the community.”
The nursing homes that are the focus of this report are a very small part of our national community and the vast majority of our population is being cared for by a network of carers,” it said in a statement.”
With coronavacids spreading across Australia and with thousands of new patients being admitted to our hospitals each day, our nursing homes are at high risk of becoming a target for a coronaval.
“The State Government says that it has not yet decided whether to allow the closure of any nursing home and that it will “look closely at” the issue in the coming weeks.
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