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Australians can now look forward to a single aged care quality framework covering all models of aged care thanks to the first upgrade of aged care standards in 20 years.

Passing through Federal parliament last night, the Single Aged Care Quality Framework legislation promises a single approach to quality assessment across the different aged care settings including residential care and home care.

Minister for Senior Australians and Aged Care, Ken Wyatt AM, said the new Aged Care Quality Standards have been designed to protect the rights of senior Australians.

“Under the draft new regulations, aged care providers’ governing bodies and boards will be legally accountable for safety and quality,” said Minister Wyatt.

“There will be mandatory clinical frameworks including disease control, open disclosure, and minimising the use of restraint.

“The focus will be on client care, with providers having to prove their care and services are safe, effective and customer-centred.

“While the overwhelming majority of Australia’s 2700 aged care providers and 366,000 dedicated staff deliver exceptional care, the new standards are about ensuring there are no exceptions.”

Australia’s voice of aged care, Leading Age Services Australia (LASA), welcomed the formal passing of the new aged care standards, with LASA CEO Sean Rooney saying the standards were a vital component to drive continuous improvements in the quality of aged care.

“The new standards deliver a single approach to quality assessment across the different aged care settings including residential care and home care,” Mr Rooney said.

“The single Framework will both streamline assessment of the performance of providers against these new standards as well as improve the information about quality and safety that is available to consumers.

“LASA supports the new Aged Care Quality Standards on the basis that these standards reflect current evidence on how best to deliver quality care, support, services and accommodation for our older Australians.”

What are new aged care quality standards?

The draft Aged Care Quality Standards consist of eight standards:

  • Client dignity and choice
  • Ongoing assessment and planning of client’ personal and clinical care
  • Services and supports for daily living
  • The provider’s service environment
  • Feedback and complaints
  • Human resources
  • Governance

 

Each of the eight draft standards includes:

  • A statement of outcome for the client
  • A statement of expectation for the organisation
  • Requirements to demonstrate that the standard has been met.

 

The legislation brings together the four previous sets of Aged Care standards into one, replacing the:

  • Accreditation Standards;
  • Home Care Standards;
  • National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Flexible Aged Care Program Quality; Framework Standards; and
  • Transition Care Standards.

 

The Aged Care Quality Standards will commence from 1 July 2018 but with assessment against the Standards from 1 July 2019.

Seasons Aged Care CEO Nick Loudon welcomes the new Aged Care Quality Standards and looks forward to having consistent standards across the industry.

“As a provider of service and accommodation to older Australians, that is operating under a unique model, this new standard is good news for us and more importantly for consumers. It’s an opportunity for us to be accredited under the same framework as residential aged care providers, giving people even more confidence that we can deliver the personalised and high-level care they require, right through to end of life,” said Mr Loudon.

“The new standards mean that whatever type of care a person chooses, whether it’s in their own home, in an aged care community like Seasons or in residential aged care that they can rest easy in the knowledge that they will receive the same quality of care and have the same protections.”

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Belinda Peters
Belinda brings more than 17 years experience in journalism to her role as Seasons Digital Content Writer. As our blog editor, Belinda will take the confusion out of aged care with entertaining and informative stories from across the aged care industry and our Seasons communities.