Government’s first aged care move bad for unions, equitable for workers

The new Government's termination of the previous Government's Aged Care Workforce Supplement will prevent as many as 140,000 aged care staff from being disadvantaged by criteria that would have seen up to 40 per cent of aged care services ineligible for wage funding.

Last night's joint announcement by Social Services Minister Kevin Andrews and Assistant Minister Senator Mitch Fifield of the suspension of the Aged Care Workforce Supplement was accompanied by a pledge to consult on how aged care wages could sustainably be improved.

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Consult before commission of audit, new ministers urged

Catholic Health Australia has welcomed today's announcement of the new ministers in the key portfolios of health and social services but called for them to bring a spirit of engagement – not a fiscal sledgehammer – to their new roles in the lead-up to the commission of audit.

Prime Minister-Elect Tony Abbott today appointed Peter Dutton as the new minister for health and Kevin Andrews as the new minister for social services, who will represent aged care at the Cabinet table.

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Mercy Health executive recognised as national emerging leader

An experienced health executive who has contributed to the financial and organisational turnaround of major Catholic hospitals was recognised with the Emerging Leader Award at last night's Catholic Health Australia awards dinner in Melbourne.

Dr Linda Mellors has worked in the Victorian public health system for more than 12 years and is currently executive director of Mercy Public Hospitals Inc. In a range of areas, her experience and leadership have helped Mercy Health build on its legacy of outstanding service to the people of Victoria.

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National award honours health care for homeless Australians

A program that focuses on the health and well-being of people who are homeless or vulnerably housed has been recognised as making a major contribution to those in need. The program received the Outreach Healthcare Award at last night's CHA awards dinner.

Homeless to Home Healthcare is an initiative of Mater Health Services and Micah Projects. The two organisations have for several years been providing leadership in Brisbane to try to ensure health care can reach people with complex health problems that are not being met by existing health services. St Vincent's Hospital Brisbane was welcomed to the innovative partnership this year.

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Nurses’ staff assistance program earns national award

As Australia continues to struggles with the effects of suicide on families, communities and the nation, the work of two nurses over more than six decades has earned them the Catholic Health Australia Nurse of the Year award.

Sian James and Maria Field developed and have for many years presented a suicide prevention workshop for staff at St John of God Hospitals in Richmond and Burwood – both private psychiatric facilities in New South Wales. With many of the hospitals' patients having attempted suicide, the nurses realised that hospital staff needed training and support in how best to deal with individuals expressing suicidal ideation or having attempted suicide.

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Ground-breaking research earns national award

First-of-its-kind research assessing the long-term effects of anaesthesia and surgery on older people with mild age-related loss of memory, reasoning and decision-making has earned a hospital department the Catholic Health Australia Leadership in Positive Ageing award.

The study, being conducted by St Vincent's Hospital Melbourne's anaesthetics department under the leadership of Associate Professor David Scott, continues the department's long history of clinical practice in caring for the aged. The department has also initiated a drive for more thorough pre-operative assessment of cognition.

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St John of God Sister honoured for lifetime of service, leadership

From the training grounds of country Victoria to an Irish university, en route to hospitals in Western Australia, Hong Kong and Pakistan and back to Australia again, St John of God Sister Isobel Moran has been a trailblazer in Catholic health and aged care for more than 50 years.

Her enduring contribution to the Catholic health and aged care community in Australia was last night recognised with her announcement as the fourth recipient of the Sr Maria Cunningham Lifetime Contribution Award at the Catholic Health Australia awards dinner in Melbourne.

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