Name Cameron Pidgeon
Overall stance Supports aged care reform
Q1. Do you support home care that prioritises each individual's need for support? Yes
Comment Instead of duplicating services and increasing travel times with NGO or for-profit providers. State or Local government run home care services should be set up for areas based on there demand over the medium term for that area. They should have sufficient staff for daily support visits as well as for on demand call out for minor incidents etc. The Green are proposing a minimum income guarantee which would provide a livable income for family members and companions who act as full time carers.
Q2. Do you support a minimum amount of care per day to be provided in residential care, based on individual care needs? Yes
Comment This should include intangibles such as social interaction as well as physical needs.
Q3. Do you support sufficiently funded and accessible Allied Health Services for older people who receive aged care services, both in the home and in residential care? Yes
Comment Weekly visits from Allied Health practitioners such as podiatrists, physiotherapist, occupational therapists should be fully funded. These services should be directly funded by the State health system with funding or provision guaranteed by the Federal health system. https://greens.org.au/platform/health#prevention
Q4. Do you support capping of administration fees for home care providers so more funds are available for direct support? (they are currently between 8% and 35%) Yes
Comment I want admin fees kept to a minimum and I join with Greens leader Adam Bandt in calling for nursing home profits to be redirected to care provision: adam-bandt.greensmps.org.au/articles/billions-aged-care-profits-must-go-care-instead
Q5. Do you support the provision of a variety of fresh, nutritious, appetising and appropriate meals in line with the meal choices of aged care residents? Yes
Comment During my time as a PCA I noticed that meal quality and choice improved but I remember feeding a few poor residents with some pretty average meals.
Q6. Do you support keeping the existing Aged Care Assessment process, the existing Regional Assessment Service (RAS) and Aged Care Assessment Teams (ACAT/ACAS) in public hands? Yes
Comment There is no way any assessment should be provided by non government agencies. No matter how well intentioned to begin with, NGO's end up being under resourced and there is no competitive market in the aged care sector to get the best out of for-profit providers
Q7. Do you support registration of all aged care workers in both residential and in home care settings? Yes
Comment Good idea. Green MPs having been pushing for better pay, better and fully funded training and a dedicated vaccination service for aged care workers. A central register of care workers across the industry would greatly facilitate these.
Q8. Do you support a national minimum standard of training for all care staff in both residential and home care? Yes
Comment While I was working as a carer training standards where enforced fairly haphazardly depending on the home or the Nursing Agency I worked for. I don't remember any nursing agency that required us to keep up competencies in anything other than manual handling. As mentioned above, this is something we in the Greens have been calling for for a long while. The Greens education policy calls for free initial and ongoing training. Along with better pay, this will help
Q9. Do you support at least one Registered Nurse (RN) on duty at all times in an aged care facility? Yes
Comment While I was working in Victoria the Nurses Union and HSU (post Jackson episode) was fighting a rear guard action to keep the administrating of medications in the hands of medical professionals. An RN permanently on staff was seen as an unnecessary cost burden by an increasingly privatised sector. RN eventually went, emergency room visits went up transferring costs from the federal government to the state government health system and increasing the overall cost of health and aged care while reducing the standard of care.
Q10. Do you support financial transparency of how taxpayer funds are being used in both residential and home care? Yes
Comment This is a no brainer. Protecting commercial confidentiality means nothing in a sector where private providers face no real competition to provide effective market incentives for quality care for all but the wealthiest age care recipients. The priority must be on ensuring funds are spent on care. The Greens had this to say on the failure of private Aged Care providers during the pandemic: https://adam-bandt.greensmps.org.au/articles/colbeck-must-go-profit-aged-care-ended
Q11. Do you support public reporting of complaints including how they are managed and resolved, and public disclosure on whether the provider is meeting or failing quality standards? Yes
Comment There must be public reporting of complaints but how much is reported should depend on their severity and the outcome of how they are resolved. Complaints that are clearly resolved to the satisfaction of all with no findings of malpractice, abuse or other mistreatment should have the identities of carers and health workers involved protected for reasons of privacy and professional reputation. Any resolution process must be expedited so the full details of complaints can be published in a timely manner. How much detail is published when is something I don't have the resources to answer yet but that there was a complaint should be published within days..
Q12. Do you support new Aged Care legislation that prioritises the human rights of older people and mandates quality? Yes
Comment Australia is one of the only OECD countries without a bill of rights and we have been pushing for an Australian Bill of rights ever since we became a party.
Q13. Do you support the mandatory reporting of serious incidents within a timely manner in both residential and home care? Yes
Comment A national online reporting system should be easy to set up and maintain. To make it worthwhile there must be full funded and resourced agency and response procedures.
Any other comments My name is Cameron Pidgeon and I am standing as the Greens candidate for the seat of Curtin in the 2022 Federal Election. I have worked as an agency casual PCA in the sector over the years 2000 to 2012 and saw the best and worst care in a wide variety of nursing homes and care settings. I have worked in both Western Australia and Victoria and at the time the aged care sector in both states was going through enormous changes brought about buy changes to Federal legislation. Several widely reported scandals meant that there was finally political incentive for improvements in standards that where well overdue. I believe to achieve a balance between high Nationally set uniform standards, and locally run care agencies that are able to provide a safe and secure home for Australian Seniors. The Greens have been pushing for better Aged care in Federal and State Parliaments. This is our statement on Aged Care from our Fight For the Futureâ€ policy document: â€œA CARING SOCIETY FOR OLDER AUSTRALIANS Aged care should not be run for profit. Looking after our older citizens is a public service, not an opportunity for billionaires and big corporations to make super-profits. Older Australians should have safe, affordable aged care and be able to choose whether to stay at home or move to residential care. But as the Royal Commission into Aged Care showed, privatisation has been a disaster for older Australians and their families who rely on aged care. The COVID-19 crisis laid bare how the big corporations and super wealthy have been making millions off the misery of older Australians. As our population continues to age, it is becoming more obvious that care should not be for profit. We need to properly invest in our aged care system, starting with clearing the waitlist â€” a projected minimum of an additional 100,000 Level 3 and 4 Home Care Packages to ensure older Australians can continue living at home for as long as they wish. And over the coming decade we need to unwind the privatisation disaster and properly invest in publicly owned and funded aged care. This will mean being willing to make the billionaires and the big corporations pay their fair share towards government investment in our care sectors. â€œ In addition we have a broad platform of policies including Services, Health and Education that will ensure a high standard of aged care for Australian Seniors: https://greens.org.au/platform/health#prevention https://greens.org.au/platform/services#services https://greens.org.au/platform/education