Understanding quality care, exploring partnerships and developing consumer-focused policies are among the key areas aged care providers have already taken action on in response to the royal commission’s final report.

Southern Cross Care Tasmania CEO Robyn Boyd said the provider is prioritising a thorough understanding quality care while waiting for the government to respond to the royal commission’s 148 recommendations.

“In the absence of any industry benchmarks, we’re focused on being able to understand how we are performing against quality indicators, and not just the mandatory national quality indicators but our own, and how that translates into good quality care and service provision,” Ms Boyd the Governance in Aged Care: Beyond the Royal Commission online conference.

Robyn Boyd

As part of this, SCC Tasmania is focused on bolstering clinical expertise and looking at forming partnerships to learn about best-practice care models, she said.

“[It will allow] us to have more of an independent focus and not just looking internally at ourselves, but having independent stakeholders coming in and challenging our view on quality. I think that’s important [because] you can become blinded by familiarity,” Ms Boyd said.

Fronditha Care CEO Faye Spiteri said her organisation is focused on building policies and processes around governance, open disclosure and the client’s voice because it was evident in the recommendations these are areas that can be addressed now to improve current service delivery.

Fronditha is looking to develop a 20-year action plan that won’t disrupt their current model but look for potential areas for change, she said.

“[It’s] a long-term view around what the needs of community and stakeholders are and [it’s about] where the community wants Fronditha Care to be, or needs them to be in the next 20 years. Then we’re bringing that down to a 10-year strategy with three-to-five year implementation plans,” Ms Spiteri told the conference.

Faye Spiteri speaking at the Governance in Aged Care: Beyond the Royal Commission online conference on Wednesday

“We’re looking very deeply at our model, looking at operational plans, workforce plans, as well as a whole continuum of care that’s not just community services and residential, but [also] how you do respite care and dementia care in home where people want to age in place,” she said.

“We’re looking at blue sky thinking, and this is the opportunity for that,” Ms Spiteri said.

Developing a strategic response

For providers wanting to develop a strategic response to the royal commission’s recommendations, it is critical to review your current situation, Ms Boyd said.

“It’s really important to take a step back and review the strategic plan… and understand [whether] it aligns to the recommendations and the future direction and how we adapt our plans to include things like recommendations around the built environment,” she said.

Ms Boyd said providers also need to look at their workforce.

“Equally, it is important for us to look at our workforce and our workforce development and understand that our mandated ratios don’t necessarily translate into quality of care,” she said.

Providers need to ask themselves if they have the right skills within the workforce to sustainably deliver the quality of care they would, Ms Boyd said.

The Governance in Aged Care: Beyond the Royal Commission online conference was designed in partnership with Council on the Ageing Australia and Aged and Community Services Australia and took place on 14 – 15 April.

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