LETTER TO EDITOR
I write in response to BlueCare's decision to cut aged care nurses.
There is no valid excuse for reducing the already dangerously low number of nurses in Queensland aged care facilities.
Many facilities have no nurses overnight, or even outside office hours as Australian law does not require even a single Registered Nurse be on site at an aged care facility at all times.
However, this week BlueCare hit a new low. Their decision to cut at least 12 nurses in Bundaberg and replace them with largely untrained Personal Carers is an extremely dangerous development.
To add insult to injury, BlueCare then released a statement claiming the reduction in care would benefit Queensland's elderly by allowing the aged care provider to continue to provide "sustainable" services.
BlueCare is part of UnitingCare Queensland which last year boasted $1 billion in revenue.
With revenue so immense, there's no reason UnitingCare should cut nurse numbers and reduce the quality of care elderly residents receive.
This cost-cutting measure could see staff with just six hours pharmacology training giving the elderly potentially fatal combinations of complex medications. Similar decisions have been announced for BlueCare facilities in Emerald and Maleny and I fear the initiative could be rolled out at 126 facilities state-wide.
This decision could impact tens of thousands of elderly Queenslanders in almost every community between Cairns, Cunnamulla and Coolangatta.
I believe this decision is a form of elder neglect.
The Queensland Nurses and Midwives' Union (QNMU) will continue to fight this dangerous precedent on behalf of elderly Queenslanders and those who care for them.
Queensland Nurses and Midwives' Union