Training for Aged-Care Workers | Constituency Question & Response

Ms VAGHELA (Western Metropolitan) (12:41): My constituency question is directed to the Minister for Child Protection and Minister for Disability, Ageing and Carers, the Honourable Luke Donnellan. The Andrews Labor government is boosting training for aged-care workers, with a major investment of $1 million to improve care for residents across Victoria and strengthen aged-care workforce skills across the entire sector. The Labor government is funding La Trobe University’s Australian Centre for Evidence Based Aged Care to develop online training to focus on improving dementia care, oral hygiene and palliative care to build the capability of staff working across all of Victoria’s 780 aged-care services. My question to the minister is: can the minister provide me with an update on how the aged-care workforce in the Western Metropolitan Region can benefit from this training? This investment is in addition to the Labor government’s investment in training to enhance the skills of nurses caring for older people. To date more than 2600 nurses working in public residential aged care have benefited from this training.

Reply:

Mr DONNELLAN (Narre Warren North—Minister for Child Protection, Minister for Disability, Ageing and Carers)

The Andrews Labor Government has recently announced $1 million funding to provide training for all Victorian residential aged care services in response to key findings outlined in the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety.

This education and training initiative will focus on building capacity and capability in the Victorian aged care sector workforce to better support residents with dementia, improve staff understanding of a palliative response to care, as well as to improve understanding of oral hygiene and the link to unplanned weight loss and overall resident health and wellbeing.

The training will target a range of staffing groups including personal care attendants, nurses and allied health staff working in residential aged care services and will be accessible to staff working in all services located in the Western metropolitan area and all other regions across the State.

The education package is currently in development and on track to being available from July 2021. Residential aged care facilities and other sector stakeholders will be engaged to promote and encourage staff to participate in this education package based on best evidence with a decision support model to assist all care staff. It’s flexible web-based online format will enable staff to access this important training to accommodate their own learning needs.

The training package builds on previous training in the care of older people developed by La Trobe University’s Australian Centre for Evidence Based Aged Care for nurses working across public sector health and aged care services. During the pilot phase over 1200 nurses attended a specialised training course in the comprehensive health assessment of older people. Since then a further 1425 nurses primarily from public sector residential aged care services have benefited from this specialised training. This course recognises older people in need of health and aged care often have complex medical, social and care needs and are at greater risk of adverse events.

Investment in these specialised training initiatives demonstrate the Government’s commitment to supporting high quality and safe care for older Victorians.