Submissions target “meaningless” website

Industry bodies have criticised the listing of sanctions and non-compliance on a government-run consumer website.

Aged care industry bodies have criticised the government’s decision to publish sanctioned and non-compliant facilities on its consumer website.

In their submissions to the current accreditation review, Aged and Community Services Australia (ACSA) and Catholic Health Australia (CHA) called for a greater focus on residents’ wellbeing and satisfaction.

The ACSA submission said the information listed on the website, “relatively meaningless and does nothing to assist consumers or accurately represent an aged care provider’s services”.

The CEO of CHA, Martin Laverty agreed, describing the data currently available to consumers as an incomplete league table.

He said the website should display more quality data to give consumers greater choice and to allow good facilities to demonstrate their success.

“If leagues tables are to be established they need to be established properly with balanced information on non-compliance and sanctions on the one hand, and positive measures for the majority of operators on the other,” he said.

“The Catholic sector is supportive of transparency but not just for non-compliance. The good news stories need to be told as well.”

Mr Laverty also called for an end to the three-year accreditation cycle, saying it had become a system of “paper-trail auditing”.

He said announced accreditation audits should be replaced by a constant accreditation framework based around the unannounced visits and support contacts.

“We think that if we took away the three yearly review of paperwork, it would provide an opportunity to better focus on residents’ experience,” Mr Laverty said. “I think there should be more interaction with residents.”

However ACSA argued that announced visits have the potential to increase the role of residents in the accreditation process.

“Announced site visits give residents, their families and representatives an opportunity to plan for meetings with the audit team,” it said in its submission.

“If accreditation site visits were all unannounced, it would potentially reduce interactions between residents, families and auditors.”

ACSA also called for a distinction in the accreditation system between process risks and risks that cause actual harm.

Tags: accreditation, accreditation-agency, compliance, sanctions,

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