Oct 24, 2018

3,000 unannounced inspections scheduled for 2019

With pressure mounting on the government to fix the multitude of problems in aged care, it is moving ahead with key recommended changes, even as the Royal Commission gets underway.

Unannounced audits, which were recommended in the Carnell-Paterson review in the wake of the Oakden scandal, were introduced on 1 July this year, and the government has revealed that the number of unannounced visits will rise sharply again next year.

Unannounced re-accreditation audits will rise from 263 this year to almost 900 in 2019, the government said.

Unannounced inspections, targeting particular standards, identified risks, and complaints, are expected to rise to more than 3,000.

In other moves, the new Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission, another recommendation of the Carnell-Paterson review, will come into effect on 1 January 2019, and the government has revealed it will be led by respected health sector leader, Janet Anderson.

The new Commission will combine the roles of the Aged Care Complaints Commissioner, the Australian Aged Care Quality Agency, and the Department of Health’s aged care compliance responsibilities – effectively creating a “one-stop shop” for consumers and providers.

It will have a budget of almost $300 million over four years and will employ dozens of additional senior compliance officers.

Commission will be backbone of industry

Leading Age Services Australia Chief Executive, Sean Rooney, said LASA is committed to working with the new Commission to ensure high standards in the industry.

“The new Aged Care Safety and Quality Commission, along with the Aged Care Quality Framework, will provide a strong backbone for quality outcomes in aged care,” he said.

“The Commission, alongside the introduction of unannounced re-accreditation visits that came into effect on 1st July this year, will drive quality improvements in the aged care system and help restore confidence for the community and providers alike,” he said.

Janet Anderson to lead Commission

In her new role heading up the Commission, Ms Anderson will oversee approval, accreditation, assessment, complaints resolution, monitoring and compliance of all Commonwealth-funded aged care providers.

Anderson is highly experienced in the healthcare sector. Her most recent role was Deputy Chief Executive and acting Chief Executive of the Northern Territory Department of Health.

She will report directly to Ken Wyatt, Minister for Senior Australians and Aged Care.

Pat Sparrow, CEO of Aged and Community Services Australia welcomed Ms. Anderson’s appointment, and said it was pleased to see the Government continuing with reform.

“All those parties with an interest in aged care, whether as a resident or a provider, need the system to function with firm but fair regulation that protects the principles of safety and quality of life,” she said.

“As an industry and a community, we have zero tolerance for poor or inattentive care and Australians have the right to expect a regulatory system to reflect and enforce that at all times.

“We absolutely need regulation that holds to account those who abuse or neglect and identifies those instances of sub-standard care in a timely and effective way.

“The community needs certainty and confidence that the regulation protecting their loved ones is functioning effectively,” Ms Sparrow said.

Increased scrutiny will improve sector

Although the recent spate of horror stories from within aged care are hard to watch, there are positives that come from the public viewing of these tragedies.

Recently, facilities where shocking incidents have taken place, have become the subsequent targets of unannounced visits by authorities, which have resulted in sanctions.

The number of serious risk reports, sanctions, and non-compliance notices are rising, and with the news that unannounced audits will again increase next year, will probably be up again next year. With more problems being identified in aged care, the more likely it will be that problems can be solved.

We sincerely hope we are seeing the early shoots of the improvements in aged care that we all so strongly desire.

If you have concerns about the quality of aged care services, you can contact the Aged Care Complaints Commissioner on 1800 550 552 or go to www.agedcarecomplaints.gov.au.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Banner Banner

Doctors regularly miss dementia in their patients

A UK study has found that in nearly 40% of cases, doctors aren’t aware that patients they are treating have dementia. A study by the University College London found that medical staff are regularly treating patients without realising the patient has previously been diagnosed with dementia. The researchers say elderly people who are living with dementia are being sent... Read More

Australian Age Care Leading The Way On One-Child Generation Not Prepared For Ageing Parents

Most people are aware of China’s one child-policy, which they began to formally phase out in 2015. Because of this policy, that ran for 36 years, China’s population demographics have been skewed. What this means is that there is a much higher ratio of older people to younger people. Right now, it’s about one in... Read More

Why are violent assaults against healthcare workers on the rise?

The number of violent assaults against healthcare workers is escalating, with aged care workers being “slapped” and “punched” by the very residents they have been tasked with caring for. Read More
Banner Banner