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Government moves to publish information on sanctioned home care service

The Department of Health is proposing to publish information on the non-compliance of home care services on the My Aged Care website from later this year.

It is the first time this information will be made available to the public and will bring the home care sector into line with reporting on the residential aged care sector.

The department already publishes notices of non-compliance and sanctions for residential aged care on the My Aged Care and Department of Health websites when a provider has failed to comply with the Accreditation Standards or Charter of Residents’ Rights and Responsibilities.

The government is proposing to begin displaying information on non-compliance from late 2016, and in My Aged Care service finders on 27 February 2017.

However, the transparency measure will only be applied to new notices of non-compliance and sanctions and will not be applied retrospectively. The department currently records information on residential aged care non-compliance for two years.

COTA Australia chief executive Ian Yates said he welcomed the initiative, which was overdue. However, he said there was more to do to give aged care consumers meaningful information about quality services.

“We believe it’s a very high bar of non-performance to cause non-compliance.”

“While it’s a great step, there’s also the potential unintended consequence of creating a false sense of quality about a provider that doesn’t correlate to the consumer’s view of what constitutes a “quality” service.”

Current work to develop a common set of standards across all forms of aged care “was another really important and probably more important step,” he said.

In 2014-2015, the department issued 18 notices of non-compliance to residential providers and two sanctions were imposed.

The government is currently consulting on the proposal with sector stakeholders.

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