Aug 04, 2017

Families Feel Aged Care Accreditation Are Missing the Mark

Government accreditation is meant to ensure that the aged care facilities that older Australians are living in are up to scratch and providing adequate care to their residents.

But as the 7.30 on the ABC reported last night, some facilities are still able to get “top marks” despite having a number of complaints against them.

In part one of their two part investigation, 7.30 spoke to families whose loved one experiences acts of neglect and elder abuse during their time in aged care – and yet, each of these facilities managed to pass accreditation with flying colours.

Accreditation inspection in aged care happens every three year, with “unannounced” spot checks to happen at least once every year.

One of the daughters on 7.30 said that if facilities know well in advance when the inspections are to occur then they are able to prepare for them so that they pass.

This woman, who was visiting her mother at the time, saw the assessors arrive, “[the facility] would employ extra staff on the day that the accreditation came in and they would also have diversional therapy and activities that went all day and that never, ever happened”.

One of the incidences reported saw an elderly woman diabetes so poorly managed – she was given sugary meals and not receiving adequate treatment – that she eventually died from complications from her condition.

However, that facility was able to receive 100% on their last accreditation. 

Nick Ryan, the CEO of Australian Aged Care Quality Agency explained that “an accreditation scheme, especially in health accreditation, which accreditation standards are for aged care homes, is that they provide a safety net and a minimum standard that providers must meet.”

“They can’t guarantee that those policies and procedures, that the home is able to document, can be applied in 70 million days of aged care every single year.”

There’s a lack of transparency in the aged care sector, explains Lynda Saltarell  from Aged Care Crisis, “we can look up information about cars, computers, when you buy a mobile phone or any product except for when you are looking to place your mum or dad in a nursing home”

After part one of 7.30’s investigation, which aired on Wednesday nights, they received more stories of abuse and neglect from former aged care staff and families around Australia.

All of whom believe that “it’s the accreditation and complaints system which is broken”.

One of the accreditation’s biggest failures was seen in the Oakden nursing home in South Australia, which was closed down after allegations of years of neglect and abuse.

Due to this The Federal Government ordered an inquiry into the accreditation process and the agencies involved.

What do you have to say? Comment, share and like below.

ACRC’s Responsible Care initiative seeks to promote dialogue and engagement between all stakeholders in the sector. The sector has faced a history of limited transparency and accountability due to structural challenges of the sector. These issues are often left unresolved and deferred through a sector wide systemic trend historically to openly engage and commit to improvements.  We believe that the sector requires a concerted effort to look beyond negative events and individual stories of distress however important these are, and for real change, to ask questions and accept answers focusing on constructive intent, innovation, cultural change, accountability and leadership rather than blame and avoidance.

Sometimes we note that some stakeholders may be frustrated with what providers or government say. Likewise sometimes providers maybe nervous to engage with consumers for fear of reprisal but every stake holders opinion is valid and all stakeholders need to respect each other for a real chance of sustainable change. Through our often exclusive series of expert interviews, videos and articles we hope to encourage and support positive change and provide our audience insights and educational information to navigate this industry change. We encourage and invite comments from all our readers and other industry stakeholders but ask that comments are respectful and questions are asked with a commitment to listen to the respondents answer and allow debate to facilitate the healing the sector so desperately needs. Be a Responsible Care supporter.

Leave a Reply

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

  1. The systems may be in place and documented but real assessment as to what happens is not there. The box may be ticked that x was done but how do you know if it was done 3 months on If the care that is more than ticking boxes is there. If the accreditation was correct all care facilities would be satisfactory. Instead there is wide variance between care standards for those that have passed the accreditation. The systems audits documentation but does not promoted standards above the basic or have incentives to be above basic care.


The budget must address aged care — here are 3 key priorities

Australia’s aged care system has produced a litany of failures: unpalatable food, poor care, neglect, abuse and, most recently, the tragedies of the pandemic. Read More

All I want for Christmas is a Home Care Package

This time of year can be full of laughter and cheer. But it can also be a really difficult time if your parents are alone or are struggling to care for themselves. And sometimes, we can’t be there for our loved ones when we want to be. Demand for in-home aged care is increasing, with... Read More

Budget package doesn’t guarantee aged care residents will get better care

The good news from budget 2021 is that the journey has begun. The government has made a substantial down payment to allow development of a new aged care system. We must hope that more will follow, so the neglect ends and every older Australian can get the care and support they need. Read More