(Image: AAP/Joel Carrett)

With Labor committing to minimum staffing levels in aged cared and the royal commission into the industry being encouraged to mandate minimum levels, the biggest challenge in aged care is yet to be faced.

Anthony Albanese committed Labor to "minimum staffing levels in residential aged care" in a recent speech, after appearing to skirt the issue last year. He had already committed to implementing all the recommendations of the aged care royal commission. In their interim report last year, the commissioners noted "our final report will give close consideration to options to ensure staffing levels, and the mix of staffing, are sufficient to ensure quality and safe care".

Counsel assisting the commission have submitted a 160-page paper explaining the history of the issue and detailing the case for recommending the commission endorse minimum staffing levels sufficient that facilities reach a care standard based on US guidelines.