Complaints up, non-compliance down – again: quality report

Complaints about aged care services continue to rise, according to the quality commission.

The number of complaints about aged care services continues to rise while the number of providers failing to comply with standards continues to fall, according to the quality commission’s latest performance report.

Source: Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission Sector performance report January-March 2023

In all, there were 2,446 complaints directed against aged care services during the January-March 2023 quarter – 1,316 residential care; 1,102 home care; 28 flexible care – the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission’s sector performance report shows.

Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission Sector performance report January-March 2023

Complaints were made against 844 residential aged care services covering 2,972 issues – medication administration and management drew the most complaints (175).

The majority of complaints were made by family members or representatives of residents (773), anonymous (283), other (175) and care recipient (85).

In total, the commission finalised 1,384 residential aged care complaints during the quarter.

Reportable incidents

The commission received 12,793 reportable incidents during the period – 4,747 priority 1 and 8,046 priority 2.

Source: Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission Sector performance report January-March 2023

Once again, unreasonable use of force was by far the most reported incident with 7,704 cases recorded.

Between January and March 2023, the commission actioned 1,004 regulatory responses to reportable incidents:

  • 958 – monitoring and engagement
  • 3 – directed actions to providers
  • 33 – investigation by the commission
  • 10 – enforceable regulatory action.

Quality standards

During the period, the commission conducted 490 site audits.

Source: Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission Sector performance report January-March 2023

The audits are carried out to check providers’ ongoing compliance with their aged care responsibilities, including the Aged Care Quality Standards.

New South Wales received the most site audits (190), followed by Victoria (151), Queensland (64), Western Australia (39), South Australia (24), Tasmania (17), Australian Capitol Territory (4) and Northern Territory (1).

Aged care services found to be non-compliant with one or more quality standard dropped during quarter three – 88 compared to 133.

The graphic below breaks down the degree and frequency of non-compliance across each of the eight quality standards:

Source: Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission Sector performance report January-March 2023

Home care

Complaints made against home care providers continued to rise with 1,102 recorded during the period. Of these, 977 regarded home care packages.

Lack of consultation or communication drew the most complaints (269), then fees and charges (151), and reimbursements (123).

Sources of complaints – Source: Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission Sector performance report January-March 2023

Care recipients made up the largest complainant group (537), followed by representative or family member (474), others (54), anonymous (37). During the quarter, the commission finalised 1,042 complaints.

The commission conducted 121 quality audits during the period with 36 services found to be non-compliant – down from 45 the previous quarter.

Number of services where non-compliance was found with each quality standard:

Source: Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission Sector performance report January-March 2023

During the period, 45 non-compliance notices were lodged against home care providers.

Main image: the Aged Care Quality Standards

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Tags: aged care quality and safety commission, featured, January-March 2023, sector performance report,

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