The "army of angels" on the frontlines need stronger advocacy from employers

Mike Baird Leadership Summit 2021HammondCare Chief Executive Mike Baird told aged care sector bosses they must make “workforce, workforce, workforce” their chief priority as they prepare for huge changes ahead. 

Speaking to the Leaders Summit 2021 on Friday 19 March, Mike said the sector had an “army of angels” at the frontline, but they needed stronger advocacy.

“We have not done enough to look after their needs,” Mike said to the 800 delegates at the Hyatt Regency ballroom in Sydney and hundreds more online.

“They need more support, more staff alongside them, more training,” he said. “But they also need more pay.”

He warned that the sector must do better to “attract and retain” employees if it is to find the 80,000 more staff needed for reforms arising out of the Aged Care Royal Commission, such as eliminating the home care package waiting list.

Mike called on industry leaders to “be bold” in pursuing a vision for a better aged-care sector that “cares deeply” for those in their care as they await how the Federal Government responds to the Royal Commission’s recommendations.

“This is not a time to let this report be another of those reports over the past 20 years that have been forgotten,” he said.

During the question and answer session afterwards, Mike was asked by a delegate whether leaders not prepared to embrace changes ahead should step aside. His answer was direct.