YES. There is definitely always hope, and there is STILL hope for physio and allied health in nursing homes to continue! The QLD government report below shows this, and there is more like this coming as the federal election campaign comes. Rest assured we and a lot of others are DEFINITELY not giving up on our mums, dads, partners, grandparents and friends in nursing homes who deserve and need mandated and FUNDED physiotherapy and allied health.
One of the reasons we are hopeful, and not to be forgotten amongst the federal election, is the role state governments and the role they play in aged care. We learnt during COVID that state governments have more power than we think when it comes to setting their own rules regardless of what federal government thinks! This afternoon the QLD government health and environment committee released their final report that our CEO and physio Alwyn Blayse gave evidence and a submission on behalf of AAC last year. You can see the full report at the end of this post as well as some screenshots from the report below.
State governments like Queenslands, of course run the hospitals (and some in regions like Oakey in Queensland they do both, run a nursing home and a hospital). Hospitals and the staff there, and the whole community bear the effects of older people not having the physio and allied health they need. Not having physio especially causes more pain, pain medications, side effects, preventable admissions, falls, fractures, deaths and load on hospital systems and QLD tax-payers as well as when we pay our federal taxes.
The committee heard some damning evidence from many QLD residents, doctors, allied health individuals and groups that allied health is ESSENTIAL for many people, especially those who live in regional areas and nursing homes. They also heard that the current aged care system AND the next one (AN-ACC) is not going to provide the allied health our older people who built this country need.
AAC CEO Alwyn Blayse commented on the report “On behalf of AAC, and all the individuals and allied health who’ve contacted and supported our campaign to stop the #deathofalliedhealth, I’d like to thank the Queensland government and the Health and Environment Committee for their hard work creating this important, timely detailed and much needed report. We would also like to thank all those who gave their time to give often upsetting evidence, took time away from work and family to write submissions, and the members themselves of the Health and Environment Committee from both sides of politics. Your compassion and care with those who attended your enquiry was very appreciated, and for inviting speakers such as myself and genuinely wanting to hear what we had to say. You not only listened, you were genuinely curious HOW to solve the issues that plague allied health and nursing homes especially.
What really struck me when I was there in person in Bribie Island RSL, with veterans specifically, was how much more aware our state politicians were of the issues being raised and seen in their state electorate offices than I had observed when I gave evidence there followed by questions of federal Department of Health. And no offence intended to Senators, they have different and still very important roles to play as the Australian Greens showed by calling for the AN-ACC to be delayed, and Senator Rice lodging our petition with 20,000 signatures to save allied health in nursing homes.
The differences between state and federal was the many stories we heard of people at each electorate office saying the same things about how much allied health was needed and the reality of workforce shortages and federal funding decisions made at a more local and community level.
This was most evidenced for me by chatting after the testimony to an LNP member whose son was a physio, and talking about what happens in a hospital in his electorate. And then chatting to a lady who wanted to speak with me after that who had been in the gallery and had not told anyone she was really struggling after her husbands death in aged care, where he hadn’t been receiving allied health. A special thanks to the member for Lytton for helping me that day with a lovely older lady who lost her husband in a home and was affected by testimony. I called her the next morning to check on her and she was OK but I’m sure she appreciated your humanity and genuine care.
We appreciated that from all of your committee members and your staff who created this report. This gives us genuine hope that even if federal politicians have been sadly not supporting allied health in nursing homes in the way that is needed, the states can and will provide an effective lobbying voice to ensure that an elected government of any kind will be held accountable.”
See detail below on the report and AAC’s input
You can see AAC Allied Aged Care’s full submission here
Public testimony our CEO Alwyn Blayse (pictured in Bribie Island where the committee met) gave on behalf of AAC and allied health that had spoken to him and our campaign to stop the #deathofalliedhealth in aged care is here
To sign the petition that was lodged at the Senate on 30th March by Senator Rice and is ongoing and will be presented to others during the campaign and afterwards is here https://www.change.org/p/the-australian-senate-senate-petition-to-ensure-physiotherapy-and-allied-health-for-nursing-home-residents
You can also see our submission to the HEC here https://documents.parliament.qld.gov.au/com/HEC-B5E1/INDISQ-3CD2/submissions/00000052.pdf
and others https://www.parliament.qld.gov.au/Work-of-Committees/Committees/Committee-Details?cid=169&id=4131
Full report here
For media comment or to contact Alwyn for an interview/comment please contact AAC Operations Manager Marie-Louise Willis email@example.com