Boards urged to consider care advisory reports

Organisations that have not yet established a quality care advisory body or begun the reporting process are advsied to act.

Aged care organisations without a well-functioning quality care advisory body or the related reporting process underway should act immediately, says an industry expert.

Cynthia Payne – managing director of aged care consultancy Anchor Excellence – is keen for providers to understand reporting requirements following last year’s changes to strengthen aged care governance.

New requirements include the establishment and continuation of a quality care advisory body to support and inform the governing body, help with problem-solving and suggest improvements. The body – which needs to include a member of key personnel, a staff member directly involved in care delivery and a consumer representative – must provide the governing body a written report at least every six months.

Cynthia Payne

“It’s now reporting season because the law came into effect in December 2023,” Ms Payne told Australian Ageing Agenda at a recent industry conference in Sydney.

“Management will always carry the heavy lifting when pulling the information together. But the quality care advisory body needs to consider that information, including things like progress against the plan for continuous improvement and whether there are certain trends showing in the data or not. Their report then gets considered and responded to by the board… and there must be evidence of a response.”

If there are any recommendations, the board will likely delegate the work back to management and the work of the advisory board can continue the next reporting period, she said.

Quality care advisory bodies are embedded in the legislation transfer so this requirement is not going away, Ms Payne stressed. And while she predicts this first reporting season won’t be harshly reviewed, providers should be on top of it, she said.

The legislation prescribes what must be covered in the report. “They are simple if you’ve got the data, and if you’ve been having meetings per a term of reference and a member charter, and everybody understands why they’re considering that information. But if you haven’t had it on your line of sight, you might miss that now,” Ms Payne said.

Those falling behind “should make sure they’ve got terms of reference, they’ve had meetings, and understand these reporting requirements. Management needs to pull the data together, and their quality care advisory body must consider it and then compile the report,” she said.

The Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission published a quality care advisory body fact sheet.

Anchor Excellence is hosting a complimentary one-hour webinar on Thursday 27 June at 4pm to provide guidance on the reporting requirements.

“There is a need to get on top of this,” said Ms Payne. “There’s nothing that says it has to be [completed] by a certain date, but you definitely don’t want to be sitting on your hands.”

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Tags: ACCPA conference, Cynthia Payne, governance, quality care advisory body, reporting requirements,

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