New Scientist article Longview nursing homes in Melbourne and Sydney are struggling to meet the demand for care, with some homes failing even to provide beds to patients with terminal illness.
Longview nursing houses in Melbourne, Sydney and Perth have not delivered the same quality of care to patients as they did a decade ago, according to a study published by the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Council.
Researchers from the University of New South Wales, The University of Sydney and the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AiHW) analysed data from over 40,000 patients, finding that nursing homes had more beds than their average occupancy in the same period.
AiHSW senior research fellow Dr Elizabeth O’Donoghue said the data showed that nursing home care could not be delivered by the same system as other areas of care.
“It is clear that long-term care is a very high demand sector, and nursing homes are not getting the support that they need to deliver quality care,” Dr O’DONOHUE said.
Research from the Aiwa Institute, an independent national health and wellbeing research and policy body, found that the average number of bed days in nursing homes was just under six per week.
This was the lowest figure for any state, with just over half of the states reporting more than one bed per week in the year ending December.
The report found that while the Aishaw-Aboriginal Health Health Collaborative (AAHC) had a long-standing partnership with Longview, the number of beds was still not adequate for long-range care.
Dr O’DOghue said long-stay care was not as common as some other forms of care and that this was an area where nursing homes should be investing in better support systems and greater accessibility.
“Long-term residential care is still not seen as a priority in Australian hospitals and nursing home facilities, so there is a need to ensure that long term care is not only seen as an important part of a long term health care plan but is also supported and supported to the extent that it can be,” she said.
“Nursing homes are still not getting adequate bed time, so that is not sustainable in the long-run.”
She said the lack of beds in nursing home wards meant that patients were not getting quality care.
“The vast majority of patients in nursing care are dying in their homes, so long- term care will not be able to provide the same level of care that long stays provide,” Dr Sheshu Nair, the chief executive of the Aiams Foundation, said.
Dr Nair said the findings highlight the need for nursing home providers to have an increased level of awareness of the needs of patients and the quality of the care they provide.
“In the long term, it is critical that nursing facilities understand the needs and the priorities of their patients and work towards meeting those needs,” she added.
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