Aged care workers not being included in Ministry of Health review, union claims

The Ministry of Health's review into aged care facilities during the Covid-19 outbreak is underway, but the E tū workers union says relevant staff are being excluded from the processes.

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The review will centre on the five rest home coronavirus clusters. Source: 1 NEWS

Rest homes have been the worst affected by the viral outbreak, with 11 of New Zealand's 20 deaths coming from the Rosewood Rest Home in Christchurch and three from Auckland's St Margaret's Hospital and Rest Home.

It's prompted the Government to launch an urgent independent review into how Covid-19 is being handled and prevented at aged care facilities.

No workers, union or patient representatives are on the panel, E tū says.

"The review needs workers like us properly involved so we can explain these experiences and work with others on the solutions. We're the experts," Southland aged care worker Aroha Carney says.

Source: 1 NEWS

E tū director Sam Jones says the review is "far from adequate".

"To keep workers, unions, and residents out of such an important review feels like a slap in the face," he says.

"This is basically just another form of self-regulation which has proven to not work across industries which will only produce what the providers and DHBs allow it to. 

"Having an independent resident and worker voice is the only thing that will lead to proper preventative measures to stop further clusters developing in residential aged care ensuring all workers and residents are protected."

Read More
Ministry of Health 'still investigating' source of Rosewood Rest Home Covid-19 outbreak

Five aged care facilities, in Christchurch, Auckland and Waikato, are registered as significant clusters, with 136 confirmed and probable cases between them.

The Ministry of Health has been contacted for comment.