Aged Care and the 2021 Budget

Comcater takes a look at the 2021 Budget and what it means for your aged care facility.

The Morrison Government will deliver a $17.7 billion package of support in response to the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety. The government is touting this as a once in a generation reform to aged care, delivering respect, care and dignity to our senior Australians.


The five pillars over five years

Over five years, the government’s five pillar aged care reform plan will address:

  1. Home care – at home support and care based on assessed needs
  2. Residential aged care services and sustainability – improving service suitability that ensures individual care needs and preferences are met
  3. Residential aged care quality and safety – improving access to and quality of residential care
  4. Workforce – growing a bigger, more highly skilled, caring and values based workforce; and
  5. Governance – new legislation and stronger governance


The need for funding for catering in the aged care industry

The focus of the budget will be on workplace training in aged care and on ways to attract more skilled workers to the industry. Currently, aged care workers earn $22 an hour. Workers such as chefs and other catering staff on average earn more outside the aged care sector. So, hopefully the budget will attract more kitchen staff and encourage more industry specific training.

Research highlighted by the royal commission found 68 per cent of residents in Victorian nursing homes were malnourished or at risk of being malnourished. Training in the use of food moulds for textured foods is an example of where an injection of money into the industry can directly benefit the residents in aged care.

“Everywhere is restricted with resources and time. Particularly the catering services,” says Dietician and Aged Care program coordinator Rosie Mohr, at Nutrition Australia, Queensland.

“Sometimes that can be perceived as a barrier to using things like food moulds. But I’m hoping over time they become more widely adopted across the industry.”

“That will then increase residents’ intake, with malnutrition being the biggest nutrition issue in aged care.”


Funding to deliver better care and services

The Basic Daily Fee Supplement of $10 per resident per day will cost the government $3.2 billion. This funding will help aged care providers deliver better care and services, which includes food services.

Nursing home operators will need to report on the quality of food and nutrition provided to residents, as well as linen and cleaning to receive the payment.

From October 2023, it will be mandatory for staff to spend at least 200 minutes face to face per day with the residents. Increasing the amount of front-line care will cost the government $3.9 billion. This time could be spent in the dining room or planning special meals with the residents, rather than daily duties such as making the bed.

More staff overall should result in more resources and time for food service. And it’s the residents who will benefit.


Staff training

Through JobTrainer, 33,800 subsidised Vocational Education and Training places will increase the number of care staff.

Over three years $216.7 million will grow and upskill the workforce and enhance nurse leadership and clinical skills through additional nursing scholarships and places in the Aged Care Transition to Practice Program.

Dementia and palliative care training for aged care workers will be provided. The funds will also help recruit aged care workers in regional, rural and remote areas and provide eligible registered nurses with additional financial support.


Greater transparency in aged care facilities

 A new star rating system will highlight the quality of aged care services. This system will inform senior Australians, their families and carers clearly about their facility.

By giving senior Australians more choice, providers will be encouraged to deliver better quality facilities and the care, respect and dignity they deserve.


To find out more about how Comcater can you help your aged care facility, fill out the form.

Get in Touch with Us

Subscribe to our blog

View More Results…