Subordinate legislation for the following aged care reforms has now been registered, with these changes coming into effect from 1 December 2022:
- Changes to provider governance responsibilities
- Extension of the Serious Incident Response Scheme to home care
- Hierarchy of persons/bodies who can consent to the use of restrictive practices
Provider governance responsibilities
From 1 December, new governance responsibilities will apply to Australian Government-funded aged care providers of residential care, home care, and flexible care.
New requirements include:
- membership of governing bodies
- establishment of new consumer and quality care advisory bodies
- measures to improve leadership and culture
- reporting of material changes that affect suitability
- changes to procedures for key personnel
- reporting of provider operations data for the 2022 – 2023 financial year.
Extension of the Serious Incident Response Scheme to home care
From 1 December 2022, the Serious Incident Response Scheme (SIRS) will extend to home care and flexible care delivered in home and community settings.
The SIRS helps prevent incidents of abuse and neglect in aged care services.
All providers must have an effective incident management system in place and must use the My Aged Care portal to notify the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission if a reportable incident occurs. The portal administrator for each provider must assign designated staff access to the SIRS dashboard tile.
For information about accessing or using the portal, including assigning access for the SIRS dashboard tile, see the Service and Support Portal resources available on the Department of Health and Aged Care website.
Resources for providers, including guidance materials for SIRS, are available on the Commission’s website.
From 1 December 2022, the Quality of Care Principles will be amended to include a hierarchy of persons/bodies who can consent to the use of restrictive practices when the care recipient cannot consent themselves and there is no explicit legal avenue under state/territory laws.
This will ensure restrictive practices are only used with appropriate consent to protect the health, rights and dignity of older Australians in residential aged care.
There are five levels of the hierarchy – these are:
- relative or friend who was a carer
- relative or friend who was not a carer
- medical treatment authority, who will best support care recipients who cannot consent themselves.
Further information and resources are available on the restrictive practices webpage on the Department’s website.