New hotline to 'dob in' substandard food in aged care homes
Aged care residents and their families will soon have the power to "dob in" nursing homes for serving substandard food.
Aged Care Minister Anika Wells announced the government plan to improve the "food, nutrition and dining experience" in residential aged care through a $12.9 million funding package.
A new food hotline for complaints and advice will be established in July to ensure residents are offered nutritious meals.
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Also part of the crackdown, 700 on-site spot checks will be conducted each year and nutritionists will assess up to 500 menus.
New dietary guidelines and resources will also be developed for older people to support the elderly receiving in-home care or living in a nursing home.
"Older people have a right to enjoy quality food and will now have a simple way to report inadequate food," Wells said.
"This $12.9 million investment will increase the capability and accountability of aged care providers to deliver good food and nutrition."
She added the government, aged care providers and dietitians need to work together to lift the quality of food and nutrition in aged care homes.
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It comes as the government announced a "historic" pay boost for aged care workers as part of the federal budget.
Under the $11.3 billion package, nurses and aged care workers will receive the most significant pay pocket increase "since the Federation of Australia".
From January 1, aged care workers will receive an extra $7000 in their pay packet and nurses will be paid an additional $10,000 a year.
It is all part of the government's plan to reform the care economy in the country.
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