Aged care providers need to create a positive organisational culture towards complaints, writes Dr Jason Price.
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Complaints about aged care have increased by 23 per cent over the last year and 47 per cent since 2015, according to government figures showing a record 5,779 complaints were received over the last year.
More than three-quarters of complaints to the Aged Care Complaints Commissioner concerned the residential sector last year, with complaints overall increasing by 20 per cent on the previous year.
Concerns over fees topped the list of home care complaints to the new Aged Care Complaints Commissioner in the first six months of 2016, data released yesterday shows.
Aged care managers need to properly manage complaints, as coronial inquiries are often prompted by complaints from family members dissatisfied with a facility’s explanation, a risk management expert has said.
Mitch Fifield has confirmed the decision to cut 15 per cent from the Aged Care Workforce Fund in last week’s budget was made independently of the government’s current stocktake of workforce initiatives and was a cost savings measure.
The author of the Walton Review into aged care complaints handling has praised the government’s decision to separate complaints from the department but said the Aged Care Commissioner now charged with the task should be appropriately resourced.
Last night’s Federal Budget contained a surprise measure that should bring to a close the long-running industry campaign for a complaints investigation scheme independent of the department.
Dealing with difficult relatives can be a common occupational hazard for aged care facility staff and management, but failures of communication, complaints handling and staff training can all lead to aggressive incidents and conflict.
The Queensland facility at the centre of allegations of abuse, mismanagement and cover-up has been under investigation by the Aged Care Complaints Scheme since January 22 and a full review of the facility’s operations by the Aged Care Quality Agency is underway, the Federal Government has said.
Complaints handling, enhanced consumer engagement, and consumer directed care in residential aged care are all on the agenda in government’s new red tape reduction trial.
Australia’s Aged Care Commissioner Rae Lamb has said new powers introduced last year to strengthen her role have improved the outcomes of complaints to the Aged Care Complaints Scheme.
The new commissioner has served as NZ’s Deputy Health and Disability Commissioner for five years.
Rhonda Parker decided not to re-nominate after reaching the end of her three year term.