Reducing injuries to Aged Care workers through a new partnership 

15 June 2022

Caption: From left: ANMF (SA Branch) professional officer Jo Wagner, ReturnToWorkSA CEO Michael Francis, Rosemary Bryant AO Research Centre Research and Strategy Manager Greg Sharplin, ANMF (SA Branch) CEO/Secretary Adj Associate Professor Elizabeth Dabars AM, ANMF (SA Branch) Director, Nursing and Midwifery Practice Adj Associate Professor Jackie Wood, ANMF (SA Branch) Professional Officer Nicola Williams, ReturnToWorkSA Chief Operating Officer Declan Collins.

The ANMF (SA Branch), in partnership with ReturnToWorkSA, will run a two-year program using best practice guidelines aimed at reducing injuries among health care workers at Aged Care facilities.

ANMF (SA Branch) CEO/Secretary Adj Associate Professor Elizabeth Dabars AM said the program provides a “win-win-win” result for employers, employees and insurers.

“Employers win because they do not want to cause injuries to their workers and they certainly do not want rising premiums as well,” Ms Dabars said.

“Employees win because they avoid potentially life-changing injuries and the insurer wins because people are not injured and costs are controlled. 

“Prevention is better than cure.”

ReturnToWorkSA CEO Michael Francis said “the most effective way to minimise the cost is to support meaningful, preventative initiatives such as this”.

Mr Francis said the Aged Care industry was an area of concern when it comes to workplace injuries.

“It (the industry) lodges 800 work injury claims each year with the cost of 20 million dollars by the time they’ve been finalised,” he said. 

“The average claims cost is higher than the scheme average, the claim duration rate is higher in Aged Care than the scheme average, and the portion of psychological claims is higher.

“So ReturnToWorkSA is really proud to engage with the industry to fund the program, to improve the health of Aged Care workers and most importantly use this international, evidence-based approach.”
The program will: 

  • Empower practice champions to facilitate and embed change 
  • Create a sustainable structure to advance evidence-based practice and care 
  • Use best practice guidelines to achieve measurable improvements in safety and quality
  • Collaborate to achieve greater clinical, cultural, and financial outcomes in a sustainable manner 

The Best Practice Guidelines program provides a structured, evidence-based methodology for organisations to prepare, implement and evaluate evidence-based practice in a way that is sustainable over time.