To support consumer choice in residential aged care, the Australian Aged Care Quality Agency has announced it will collect and publish comments from residents and families regarding quality of care.
Over the next year the agency will be gathering and making public data from consumers and their representatives about the quality of care provided and the resident’s quality of life within an aged care facility.
The agency’s CEO Nick Ryan told the Play Up conference this week that people wanted to know information beyond whether a facility was safe or clean, but what the people who lived there and their families had to say about the quality of the service.
“I think people deserve that public information,” he said.
The agency has confirmed to Australian Ageing Agenda that this data will be published on its website as part of site audit reports from January 2017.
Currently the agency conducts interviews with over 54,000 consumers and their representatives each year when it undertakes accreditation audits. This information is used alongside observation and documentation to assess a facility’s performance against the accreditation. However, the agency told AAA it now planned to systematically capture consumer feedback using a validated interview tool and include this in its audit reports.
The agency said that publishing this information would “give aged care service providers greater insights into the outcomes of care for consumers and provide information from a trusted source for consumers about the quality of care.”
Mr Ryan said the agency will work with consumers and the aged care industry “to get this right.”
Responding to the agency’s announcement, Council of the Ageing (COTA) chief executive Ian Yates said older people and their families will always welcome useful information about the quality of aged care services.
“COTA has not yet been consulted on this proposal so we look forward to the agency talking with us about the specifics of how they plan to collect, aggregate and use such information and ensure it is rigorous and credible, especially in light of the variable quality of resident and family interviews during the current accreditation process,” Mr Yates told AAA.
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