The Minister for Ageing has committed to strengthening and enhancing the aged care accreditation system.
Justine Elliot made the announcement at the launch of a report commissioned by the previous government to evaluate the impacts of the accreditation on quality of care.
The report found that the current Standards and Accreditation system had been a positive for the sector.
It said accreditation had improved consistencey and raised the level of quality across the sector.
The research also found the sector has adopted a more positive view of the system with successive accreditation rounds.
But the Minister acknowledged there was room for improvement.
“I am keen to strengthen current accreditation and monitoring processes and support quality improvements,” said Mrs Elliot.
She said aged care providers had nothing to fear as most of them were already providing “top quality care”.
“We will continue to work with the aged care sector to ensure that older Australians receive the best possible level of care,” She said
“This is about working together in partnership and we will consider their views.”
The evaluation report was commissioned in 2004 and carried out by Campbell Research and Consulting, in response to recommendations from the Australian National Audit Office and the Australian Parliament’s Joint Committee of Public Accounts and Audit
A Technical Reference Committee comprising consumer, industry, carer and staff representatives assisted in the evaluation.
Aged and Community Services Australia CEO, Greg Mundy welcomed the report.
“Some of the changes are positive,” he said. “We have, for example, been urging successive governments to think about the next generation of quality in aged care.
“I do think there is a lot more we can do in, terms of the quality management system, than what we currently do.”