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New aged care quality standards clear Parliament


Legislation establishing new quality standards applying to all aged care providers has passed Parliament.

The Aged Care (Single Quality Framework) Reform Bill 2018, which cleared federal parliament on Monday night, represents the first upgrade of aged care standards in 20 years, Minister for Senior Australians and Aged Care Ken Wyatt said.

The changes affect Australia’s 2700 aged care providers and 366,000 staff.

Ken Wyatt

Mr Wyatt said together with the new independent Aged Care Safety and Quality Commission which comes into force on 1 January and the Aged Care Workforce Strategy, the quality standards herald “a new era in certainty and confidence in Australian aged care”.

“Under the draft new regulations, aged care providers’ governing bodies and boards will be legally accountable for safety and quality,” Mr Wyatt said in a statement.

“The focus will be on client care, with providers having to prove their care and services are safe, effective and customer-centred.”

Leading Age Services Australia (LASA) welcomed the passage of the standards.

“The new standards deliver a single approach to quality assessment across the different aged care settings including residential care and home care,” CEO Sean Rooney said in a statement.

“The single Framework will both streamline assessment of the performance of providers against these new standards as well as improve the information about quality and safety that is available to consumers.

“LASA supports the new Aged Care Quality Standards on the basis that these standards reflect current evidence on how best to deliver quality care, support, services and accommodation for our older Australians.”

The new benchmarks bring together what were previously four separate sets of standards covering residential care, home care, Aboriginal flexible care and transition care standards.

Care providers will undergo a transition period between now and July 2019 with  $50 million to help them adapt.

Elements of the draft Aged Care Quality Standards

  • Client dignity and choice
  • Ongoing assessment and planning of personal and clinical care
  • Services and supports for daily living
  • The service environment
  • Feedback and complaints
  • Human resources
  • Governance

Each of the draft standards includes

  • A statement of outcome for the client
  • A statement of expectation for the organisation
  • Requirements to demonstrate that the standard has been met.

You can read our previous stories about the standards here and here .

For more information on the legislation go here.

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9 Responses to New aged care quality standards clear Parliament

  1. Pam Dawson September 13, 2018 at 2:04 pm #

    What about staff ratios? This seems to have been swept under the carpet.

  2. Kay Ross September 14, 2018 at 2:54 pm #

    I also don’t see anything about having a RN onsite 24/7!

  3. Tracy Dennis September 14, 2018 at 5:09 pm #

    Your right Pam. Absolutely nothing about mandatory ratios. How do they expect us to give quality and safety care that our residents deserve. It’s impossible with the staff ratios we have at the moment.

  4. Mary Nola Viney September 16, 2018 at 12:56 am #

    Both Pam Dawson Sep 13, and Kay Ross Sep 14, express concerns that a lot of us closer to perhaps needing care do express. Another for me is medications. I manage my own medications worked out with my GP, specialists and pharmacist, and already meet alterations to timing and which medications seem to work together when I have had to go into hospital. It takes a lot of determination to stick to my program. I also have a list of all medications and listing of when they are taken. From time to time my doctors have stamped this listing which was first set up for travel. Other specialists and allied health professionals have found it helpful.

  5. Richard Arthur September 18, 2018 at 9:29 am #

    Staffing ratios are quite difficult, considering the varying nature of clients’ conditions. In theory it makes sense, but practically it is a little more complicated. (Not to say it isn’t a concern…!).

  6. Therese Hammond September 18, 2018 at 3:17 pm #

    With the new quality and safety care will this mean people on home care packages will have their fees increased to cover the cost of training of staff??

  7. Willow Ramsey September 21, 2018 at 5:23 pm #

    I totally agree Richard. Aged care doesn’t always fit a cookie cutter approach with the day to day fluctuations in resident condition and care needs. Whilst I agree that minimum ratios are important, there needs to be some flexibility to manage skill mix and the fluctuating needs of resident groups.

  8. Pfleger December 13, 2018 at 9:28 pm #

    Yes, staff ratios should be taken into consideration.

  9. Dr Drew Dwyer December 21, 2018 at 10:35 am #

    Quality Standards? There’s a thought.

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