Complaints against residential services rise, report shows

Aged care sector performance report shows a slight increase in complaints lodged against residential services.

The latest aged care sector quality performance report shows a slight increase in complaints lodged against residential services.

Released by the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission, the report covers the fourth quarter of 2021 – October-December.

Over that period, 1,639 complaints were made about residential aged care services, 122 more complaints lodged against residential aged care services compared to the third quarter of the year – July-September – which had 1,517 complaints recorded.

Personnel numbers topped the list for the most frequently complained about issue during the quarter (226) followed by medication management (201), personal and oral hygiene (177) and falls (174).

Under the Aged Care Quality Standards, all providers are required to have a complaints system in place in order to solve issues locally.

However, as the report notes, low or high complaint numbers are not, by themselves, a measure of good or poor service delivery. It may be that a particular facility has a robust complaints system that encourages feedback in order to improve service delivery.

Complaints can also be lodged directly to the aged care commission itself. Such complaints often influence the commission’s regulatory activities.

A total of 897 residential aged care services were the subject of complaints during the October-December period. Of these, 550 services received one complaint and 347 received more than one. Family members or representatives accounted for the largest category of complainants – 871.

The most complaints were directed toward NSW residential aged care facilities (539) while services in the Northern Territory received the least (10). This is hardly surprising when noting that NSW is home to more than 60,000 residential aged care consumers and the NT has just under 500.

ACQSC’s report also shows that 86 residential aged care services were found to be non-compliant with the Aged Care Quality Standards, which became law in 2018 and introduced in 2019. The chart below shows whether the non-compliance was very few, some or many.

The commission has the power to take regulatory or enforceable action against non-compliant services.

Meanwhile, nine non-compliance notices were issued to providers. These notices compel the provider to proactively address the issue within a stated timeframe.

Finally, two sanctions were imposed on providers, meaning they are not eligible to receive funding for new clients for the period of the sanction.

By far the most serious of measures, sanctions are imposed when the commission is not satisfied with a provider’s response to a non-compliance notice or where there is immediate and severe risk to residents.

Read the report in full here.  

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Tags: aged care quality and safety commission, featured, october-december 2021, sector performance report,

1 thought on “Complaints against residential services rise, report shows

  1. The commission has the power to take regulatory or enforceable action against non-compliant services…
    Lies, damned lies, and statistics.

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