Mar 12, 2020

Quality commission audits nursing homes that failed infection-control standards


The Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission has commenced nation-wide auditing of aged care facilities that failed to meet infection control quality standards.

Aged Care Quality and Safety Commissioner, Janet Anderson PSM, told HelloCare, “The Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission is taking a proportionate risk-based approach in responding to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) situation. 

“This means focusing our additional effort where it is needed most to ensure that aged care consumers are safe, by concentrating on services where we identify elevated risk to safe, quality care.

“We are also being flexible in considering adjustments to our routine regulatory activities and program so as to avoid putting untimely demands on providers.

“Based on our risk assessment, we are conducting audits, monitoring visits and assessment contacts to services to ensure the delivery of safe, quality care.”

Audit numbers could rise

In previous statements, Ms Anderson said around 100 facilities would be audited, but she told HelloCare that number could change. 

“My public comment regarding 100 facilities was in relation to an approximate number of services that may have an elevated risk in relation to provisions for infection control. 

“The number of services that we visit and monitor will vary as our regulatory intelligence changes. We apply different regulatory responses to services dependent on assessed risk.”

Ms Anderson is overseeing the Quality Commission’s response.

“As the Commissioner, I am working closely with our operational areas to guide our regulatory response in relation to COVID-19,” she told HelloCare. 

“I’m also participating in regular briefings with the Department of Health and with my own leadership group to understand the changing situation and make changes to our approach as needed.”

All providers asked about infection control 

The Quality Commission’s assessors will ask all assessed aged care facilities an additional question when they first arrive. 

The question is: ‘What action has the service taken to assess and minimise infection-related risks for the care of aged care consumers including the impact of a potential coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak?’

“The introduction of a new, additional risk screening question is to assist our assessors to focus their monitoring visit when on site at a residential aged care service or home service,” Ms Anderson said.

“In asking the question, our assessors will want to be satisfied that the service has in place arrangements for:

  • assessment and management of risk associated with infectious outbreaks if infection is suspected or identified
  • ensuring adequate care of the infected individual
  • protection measures for consumers, staff and, for residential aged care services, visitors to the service
  • providing notification advice to consumers, families, carers and relevant authorities.”

The Quality Commission’s approach to audits is set out on their website.  


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  1. They need to look at a certain nursing home on the south coast of nsw. Clinical care is so bad even found maggots on a resident thr RNS have not got a clue what they are doing.

    1. So right. When you have CMs that have never heard of, carbolise it is scary. It means discenfecting a bed and all around the bed before another resident moves in. I was talking to an friend who works in my facility about this and when she mentioned carbolising beds the CM said, “What’s that?” Another CM at the same place had not organised PPE for a resident due to an infectious disease but did mention it in a progress note! What? No check the staff had prepared for PPE. I could go on and on. But what is the point. We will probably all end up with Coronavirus. Our elderly and the AINs who are at the forefront of care dealing with all bodily fluids every day. We are all at risk when you have young foureign fools ruling our aged care facilities. Where is our pay rise for that?? I don’t want to go home only to find out I have been exposed to any virus and potentially pass it on the my family. And let me tell you, dementia residents have no cognitive awareness and so isolating them in their rooms would not work putting other residents at risk. I discenfect all tables and nurse station work areas but when you have people that spit all over the floors and some residents bending down when they see something imaginary or not picking at something. What can I say. A shortage of staff doesn’t help. Less staff even with this Coronavirus attack he moment. But when they keep building new facilities costing billions I think that is transparent enough as to why some huge aged care businesses are cutting staff. The money has to come from somewhere. Goodbye ratios goodbye transparency. Well now you know guys!

  2. And why do people work in aged care? Well. Some are like me. Children getting older and a second income is good not to mention the positiveness of getting back into the workforce after looking after children for some tim. And then there is this ‘idea’s that you will be working in a great area of helping our dear elderly. Ofcourse there is no mention that you will be handling aggressive and abusive residents. Or sexually inappropriate behaviours from residents. No mention that you will bare the full burden of being incredibly short staffed on a regular basis. No mention that Management will blame you if you are attacked by a resident. They like to say that we should not put ourselves in compromising positions and should be aware if a resident is showing signs of ‘agitation’ to step back and attend later etc. So one minute the resident is fine and showing no ‘agitation’ (the better word used these days as ‘aggression’ means alot of paper work)! Then notes will mention that “staff have been ‘re-educated! How insulting when a great AIN has been physically attacked!! Still want to work in aged care? Well if you are desperate for a job or desperate to live in Australia then come on board!! The wages and hrs you work may not be what you want and in time you will probably leave unless you upgrade your skills( leaving us short staffed) and become an RN. Another pen pusher sitting at a computer all day that hates helping AINs when they are short staffed. What happened to there????

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