My Question is to the Minister for Health representing the Minister for Disability, Ageing and Carers.

Caring for the elderly and disabled should be a top priority of any Government. In recent years, both the Federal and State Governments have made additional investments towards in- home care services for the elderly. Not only is it more affordable to keep people in their homes as long as possible, but there is also substantial evidence which points to better life expectancy and health outcomes for those who avoid aged care homes and hospitals for as long as possible.

Page 61 of the official 2018 Victorian Labor Party Platform Document focuses on “keeping health, human and emergency services workers safe” stating that “Every Victorian has the right to be safe at work. Our healthcare, emergency services and human services workers care for us at our most vulnerable and deserve to be safe and respected in the workplace”

Despite this, a survey of 269 aged care nurses conducted by Australian Catholic University found that 36 per cent of respondents reported being physically assaulted by a resident or family member in the past five shifts.

Question: Can the Minister outline the steps the Andrews Government is taking in order to reduce this number?

MINISTER RESPONDED

One of my constituents – Mr Ross Yockins – was assaulted by an elderly man at an in-home care visit two years ago. Assaulted is probably an understatement, as he was stabbed 8 times by this elderly man. Understandably Mr Yockins doesn’t ever want to see in-home carers assaulted or injured for just doing their job. Further, when complaints were made to his employer about the aggressive behaviour carers were witnessing from the patient, nothing was done. He has suggested to me that a ‘2-up’ system may be a solution where patients need in-home care, but where carers may feel unsafe or uncomfortable. When Mr Yockins presented this solution to his employer before his attack, they replied that funding wouldn’t allow this to happen.

Question: Is the Minister able to provide any insight into whether the Andrews Government is considering additional measures such as a compulsory ‘two-up’ system when complaints are made by in-home carers, to ensure their safety?

MINISTER RESPONDED