Your Aged Care Update – 14 February 2023 – Issue #05

Your Aged Care Update #05: new Quality Indicators, webinars and online training, and more.

Date published:
Audience:
Health sector

New residential aged care quality indicators launching 1 April 2023

Six new quality indicators for residential aged care will be introduced from 1 April 2023 as part of the National Aged Care Mandatory Quality Indicator Program (QI Program). These include activities of daily living, incontinence care, hospitalisation, workforce, consumer experience, and quality of life.

Residential providers must:

  • start collecting new quality indicators in the April-June 2023 quarter
  • submit quality indicator data in the 1-21 July 2023 reporting period.

QI Program data can be submitted through existing channels, including the My Aged Care provider portal. The provider portal will be updated to reflect the reporting requirements of the new quality indicators.

Tailored resources and guidance materials are available on the department’s website to support this process.

We’ll be sharing more information about the QI Program expansion shortly. Please email enquiries to QPSec@health.gov.au

Free business advice for eligible providers

Eligible residential and home care providers can apply to receive free, independent and confidential advice to support aged care reforms and improve financial and business operations through the Business Advisory Service

Support is available to providers operating in regional, rural and remote locations and smaller providers.

Approved providers are encouraged to apply if they are experiencing financial stress and have concerns about their ability to maximise business performance and service viability.

Find more information about the Business Advisory Service, including how to apply, on the department’s website.

Vision Australia e-learning: Introduction to digital accessibility

Are your website, social media, emails and documents truly accessible to all?

As an aged care provider adapting to reform, ensuring your clients and their families have access to accurate information is critical.

Join Vision Australia’s easy-to-understand 45-minute e-learning module to learn about:

  • what underpins digital accessibility
  • accessibility standards organisations must follow e.g. WCAG guidelines
  • putting digital accessibility into practice.

This course is available free of charge to all aged care workers. Register for the module.

Prudential compliance: Online learning available

The Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission has developed a series of online learning modules about prudential compliance.

The modules cover the types of refundable deposits, their permitted uses, what the Commission will look for when assessing compliance and the types of evidence that can help demonstrate compliance.

The modules are:

  1. Permitted uses of refundable deposits - Capital expenditure
  2. Permitted uses of refundable deposits - Investment in financial products
  3. Permitted uses of refundable deposits - Refunding deposits and repaying debt

Access to the Commission’s online learning is free for all employees of Commonwealth-funded aged care providers.

For further information and to register visit the Commission’s website.

Strengthened Quality Standards pilot program

Revision of the Aged Care Quality Standards (Quality Standards) was a key recommendation of the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety.

As the national regulator of aged care services, the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission is contributing to this revision.

The Commission will soon be conducting a pilot program to test how the strengthened Standards will apply in practice. Providers can nominate a service for the pilot program.

Providers will be selected with consideration given to service type, size, location and diversity of people receiving aged care.

For further information including how to nominate a service, see the pilot program factsheet, or visit the Commission’s website.

Food and nutrition events hosted by the Maggie Beer Foundation

The Australian Government is partnering with the Maggie Beer Foundation to provide education and training for aged care cooks and chefs.

The announced Maggie Beer Foundation grant is intended to prepare and support the sector to meet the new food and nutrition standard (part of the upcoming revised Quality Standards) and to enhance overall food and nutrition outcomes for older people receiving aged care.
 
In the interim, the Maggie Beer Foundation is offering several free Masterclasses in 2023 to educate and train managers, chefs and cooks to improve food and nutrition in aged care.

Two free Masterclasses in the Illawarra region are now open for registration:

  • Tuesday 14 March – ‘Creating An Appetite for Life’ for aged care chefs and cooks
  • Wednesday 15 March – ‘Food for Thought’ for facility CEO’s and managers.

You can stay up to date about future opportunities by visiting the Maggie Beer Foundation website.

Home Care Packages Program: Update to Provider Manual

The Home Care Packages (HCP) Program Operational Provider Manual has been updated in response to findings from the department’s recent Home Care Packages Assurance Review report and calls from providers for more detailed guidance.

The department consulted with stakeholders in the aged care sector throughout 2021 and 2022 to inform these updates.

Key updates include clarifications on:

  • HCP care and service exclusions
  • capping on care and package management charges
  • pricing guidance
  • unspent funds
  • interface with other programs such as residential care and palliative care
  • Serious Incident Response Scheme (SIRS).

Please read the Provider Manual to ensure you are across the most up to date guidance.

It is the responsibility of providers to help care recipients understand their home care package including the scope of the program.

Read more information about the HCP Program on the department’s website.

Final reminder: Care minutes reporting in Quarterly Financial Report due today

This is a final reminder to submit your Quarterly Financial Report (QFR) for the December 2022 quarter (October to December) through Forms Administration by 14 February.

We have no legislative authority to grant an extension to this due date and late submission may result in compliance action taken by the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission. Care minutes data in QFRs submitted after this date will result in a 1 Star Rating for the Staffing sub-category.

You will be advised in writing if you need to re-submit any data. You must respond to, or action this request by 7 March. Failure to do so by the resubmission date will result in a 1 Star Rating for the Staffing sub-category.

View resources to assist with QFR reporting:

For care minutes reporting support, email qfr@stewartbrown.com.au

For general QFR enquiries or assistance, call the Forms Administration helpdesk on (02) 4403 0640 or email health@formsadministration.com.au

Reminder: Contact details for Australian National Aged Care Classification (AN-ACC) help

This is a final reminder that the ACFR@health.gov.au mailbox for the Australian National Aged Care Classification (AN-ACC) funding model will no longer be actively monitored from Friday 17 February 2023.

For general enquiries, residential aged care providers should contact the My Aged Care service provider and assessor helpline on 1800 836 799. This helpline is open from 8am-8pm Monday to Friday and 10am-2pm Saturday.

Issues that cannot be resolved by the My Aged Care contact centre will then be referred to the department’s AN-ACC Operations Team.

For detailed funding information, see the AN-ACC resources on the department’s website.

Webinar: Site audits in residential aged care

The Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission will host a webinar ‘Site audits in residential aged care’, on Tuesday 21 February at 11.30am-12.30pm AEDT.

Hear how the Commission monitors the quality of residential services to protect and improve safety, health, wellbeing and quality of life for people receiving Australian Government funded aged care.

The webinar will cover the Commission’s assessment and monitoring of the Aged Care Quality Standards, including the assessment methodology and what assessors look for when undertaking assessments of performance.

The webinar will also include discussion of the key risks observed by quality assessors when completing their assessments.

Register to attend the webinar.

Infection prevention and control training grants available

Residential aged care providers can apply for funding to support registered and enrolled nurses to complete specialist Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) Leadership training.

Support is available for up to 2 registered or enrolled nurses in each eligible residential aged care service, for costs relating to:

  • fees for suitable IPC training courses
  • wages for study leave
  • wages for backfilling for nurses undertaking study.

This funding provides support for more nurses in residential aged care to access IPC leadership training. Highly skilled staff will ensure residential aged care services are well prepared to prevent or manage future infectious disease outbreaks including influenza and COVID-19. 

Find out more about this Grant Opportunity: Aged Care Infection Prevention and Control Training (GO5867) on the GrantConnect website.

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