No Compromise: New Era for Aged Care Quality Compliance

A new era of aged care quality and safety compliance begins on 1 July, as unannounced audits are rolled out across Australia’s almost 2,700 residential aged care homes.

Page last updated: 30 June 2018

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30 June 2018

A new era of aged care quality and safety compliance begins on 1 July, as unannounced audits are rolled out across Australia’s almost 2,700 residential aged care homes.

Aged Care Minister Ken Wyatt AM said from tomorrow, homes would no longer be given notice of the date of their re-accreditation audit.

“There will be no compromise,” said Minister Wyatt. “Audit teams will arrive at any time, to monitor and ensure the provision of safe, quality care 365 days of the year.

“This is about certainty and confidence for older Australians and families whose loved ones are receiving care.

“Statistics show that, overwhelmingly, Australia’s aged care homes provide outstanding services but our focus must be on maintaining high standards across the board and at all times.”

Minister Wyatt said the Turnbull Government’s introduction of unannounced audits marked the beginning of a quantum shift in aged care quality compliance and customer-directed care.

“Work is advancing on Australia’s new, independent Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission, which begins operations on 1 January 2019,” said Minister Wyatt.

“The recent Federal Budget earmarked more than $32 million for the Commission to intensify compliance and strengthen risk profiling of aged care providers, with the aim of preventing care lapses before they occur.

“The Commission will also develop a Serious Incident Response Scheme, in consultation with the aged care sector.”

The Commission will combine the functions of the current Australian Aged Care Quality Agency, the Aged Care Complaints Commissioner and the aged care regulatory role of the Department of Health.

“The new re-accreditation audit regime builds on the existing system of unannounced inspections by the Quality Agency,” said Minister Wyatt.

“Since last July, the Agency has conducted almost 3,000 unannounced assessment visits on homes, targeting specific quality standard requirements, with nine homes losing their accreditation.”

To maintain their approval to receive Commonwealth funding, aged care homes must comply with four standards comprising 44 required outcomes, including the adequate provision of qualified staff, clinical care, nutrition, hygiene, dignity, privacy and security.

“During re-accreditation audits, aged care residents are also encouraged to provide feedback,” said Minister Wyatt.

“It is a requirement that the audit teams meet with at least 10 per cent of a home’s care recipients and conduct Consumer Experience Interviews with a minimum number of randomly sampled residents. The audits also include opportunities for family feedback.

“The results of these interviews are then published on the Quality Agency website, along with the outcomes of the audits.”

The enhanced audit system, the new Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission and the aged care comparison system were key recommendations of the Review of National Aged Care Quality Regulatory Processes which Minister Wyatt commissioned last year.

“The Turnbull Government stands with older Australians and their families, with aged care providers and with the sector’s 360,000 dedicated staff, in our shared commitment to quality care,” Minister Wyatt said.

Aged care accreditation and compliance decisions and resident feedback results are available at www.aacqa.gov.au.

Media contact: Nick Way, Media Adviser 0419 835 449

Authorised by Ken Wyatt AM, MP, Member for Hasluck.

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