Be alert but not alarmed about standards

The head of the accreditation agency has told residential providers to build their service around the pursuit of excellence, rather than the minimum standards.

Agency CEO, Mark Brandon.

The head of the Aged Care Standards and Accreditation Agency says aged care providers should be “alert but not alarmed” by the accreditation standards.

Speaking at the Aged and Community Services Australia (ACSA) national conference, CEO Mark Brandon urged organisations to pursue excellence, instead of aiming to meet the 44 expected outcomes.

“If you hit the minimum standards and then just stop there, you won’t get a visit from the Department of Health and Ageing and you won’t get a visit from us,” Mr Brandon said.

“But you won’t be delivering the type of care that meets the expectations of your residents either.”

Mr Brandon said that if residential aged care providers focus on improving the quality of their service, as determined by their residents, they should be able to pass accreditation “as a by-product”.

He said residents are the ultimate judges of quality but a resident’s notion of quality may change as his or her health status declines.

“When someone enters a nursing home, quality might mean having good activities available but at the end stage, if they have cancer and they are dying, their idea of quality might be good pain relief,” he said.

The head of the industry’s independent watchdog also sent a message to the Commonwealth Government saying that its planned review of the accreditation system would have to consider the need to assure the community, as well as stimulating improvements in quality.

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