New resident experience surveys from February

Resident Experience Surveys – previously known as Consumer Experience Interviews – are due to commence from February, the Department of Health and Aged Care has announced.

Resident Experience Surveys – previously known as Consumer Experience Interviews – are due to commence next month, the Department of Health and Aged Care has announced.

Commissioned by the Australian Government, the annual surveys gather feedback from aged care residents about their experiences of care, culture, food, and management in the home they live in.

The responses received will inform the Residents’ Experience Rating component in the new star ratings system which were published for the first time in December.

“We see it as important to listen to the voice of residents and to hear directly from them about their experience of care,” Craig Gear, CEO of the Older Persons Advocacy Network, told Australian Ageing Agenda.

Star ratings provide information about the quality of care an aged care home delivers and how they compare to other facilities. Resident experience is one of the four key areas of performance – the others being staffing, compliance and quality indicators – and accounts for the largest input into the overall rating (33 per cent).

The table below displays the different rating levels and what they mean.

Source: Department of Health and Aged Care

At least 10 per cent of residents in every government-funded aged care home are surveyed. Where the resident is unable to provide their own feedback, a family member or representative can do it on their behalf. All feedback is anonymous and gathered by an independent team of interviewers.

“Residents have told us that the surveys being independent allows them to be a bit more open,” said Mr Gear.

The surveys seek to:

  • help older Australians and their families make informed and confident decisions about aged care services
  • give aged care homes useful data to identify areas for improvement and further increase the quality of care they provide.

Previous questions have included:

  • do staff treat you with respect?
  • do you feel safe here?
  • is this place well run?
  • do you get the care you need?
  • do staff know what they are doing?
  • are you encouraged to do as much as possible for yourself?
  • do staff explain things to you?
  • do you like the food here?
  • do staff follow up when you raise things with them?
  • are staff kind and caring?
  • do you have a say in your daily activities?
  • do you feel at home here?

This year the questions have been revised and the number increased to 14 to better reflect resident feedback. Australian Ageing Agenda contacted the department asking to see the tweaked questions, but has yet to receive a reply. However, it’s understood that one of the new questions asks whether a resident would recommend their aged care service provider to someone else.

While welcoming the resident experience surveys, Mr Gear told AAA OPAN would like to see more surveys conducted throughout the year. “It’s a point-in-time survey. We would like to see these surveys done with more people and more often.”

OPAN is also encouraging providers to utilise a range of methods to gauge resident experience, said Mr Gear. “It shouldn’t be the only thing providers rely on – they should be doing their own surveys and hearing from residents in a variety of ways … and to use that information in their continuing improvement journey “

Once the surveys have been completed and the data collated, results are available via the Find a provider tool on the My Aged Care website.

If the home selected has no survey data, it may be because:

  • the survey has not been completed because the aged care home is new or operating under new ownership
  • it is a very small home, and the results could not be published anonymously
  • they have been unable to participate due to a serious and unavoidable event such as a health outbreak or weather incident.

Aged care homes will be contacted shortly to arrange dates for survey interviews.  

Comment on the story below. Follow Australian Ageing Agenda on LinkedInX (Twitter) and Facebook, sign up to our twice-weekly newsletter and subscribe to our premium content or AAA magazine for the complete aged care picture.  

Tags: Department of Health and Aged Care, my aged care, Resident Experience Surveys, star ratings,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *