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The Hon.

Robert Brown MLC


Parliament of New South Wales
Legislative Council
Shooters and Fishers Party

MEDIA RELEASE
5 May 2016

Shots Fired in Bid to Keep


Registered Nurses in Nursing Homes
Shooters, Fishers and Farmers MLC Robert Brown fired a warning salvo at the NSW Government
today by giving notice in the Legislative Council of the Public Health Amendment (Registered
Nurses in Nursing Homes) Bill 2016. This is the first step to introducing a bill.
Mr Brown's bill amends the definition of a 'nursing home' in the Public Health Act 2010 so that the
previous requirement to keep at least one registered nurse in a nursing home at all times will
remain.
This has been the status quo in NSW for almost 30 years, but was nullified indirectly by Federal
legislative changes in 2013.
"Keeping registered nurses on staff in nursing homes is fundamental to quality aged care,' Mr Brown
said.
"This amendment to the Public Health Act will bring back the level of care we have had in New
South Wales since 1988," Mr Brown said.
"Without a registered nurse on duty in aged care to administer Schedule 8 medications, pain relief
stronger than a Panadol can't be given. The fact the Government is considering this is just plain
wrong.
"Medication administration standards for aged care mirror those in public hospital settings, and that
must remain as well. Why they would be willing to allow lives to be put at risk by dithering on this
policy is beyond me.
"Registered nurses also have the clinical expertise to know when to and when not administer
medications, such as not giving blood pressure medications when somebody already has low blood
pressure.
"Their high level of training also allows them to respond to critical incidents to prevent unnecessary
hospital admissions to alleviate 'trolley block' in hospital emergency departments."
"After a recent Upper House inquiry called on the Government to reinstate this requirement, the
Health Minister, Jillian Skinner, thumbed her nose at it last week- instead blaming the Federal
Government.
"This is not an onerous legislative change to make, and the fact that the Government has not gone
down this path lends credibility to the theory that they want to focus aged care on profiteering, not
quality care.
"The Upper House crossbench is united on this issue and I know that the Christian Democratic Party
are about to formally announce their position.

MEDIA CONTACT:

Robert Brown MLC

Parliament House

Phone: 02 9230 3059 Fax: 02 9230 2613

Macquarie St SYDNEY NSW 2000

email: robert. brown@ parliament.nsw.gov.au

(02) 9230 3059