The new Aged Care Quality Standards came into force from 1 July 2019. They are being implemented by the Commonwealth Government, through the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission (the Commission) and will be used to measure the performance of any aged care provider receiving Commonwealth funding.
You would naturally assume any organisation receiving government funding to be held accountable for how that funding is used. In this sense, the new standards keep aged care providers accountable. The Commission will conduct ongoing visits to providers of aged care services, assessing their performance against eight broad criteria:
- Consumer dignity and choice
- Ongoing assessment and planning with consumers
- Personal and clinical care
- Services and supports for daily living
- Organisation’s service environment
- Feedback and complaints
- Human resources
- Organisational governance
These new eight standards replace the four that were in place until the end of June 2019. So, besides there being more of them, what is different about them?
For a start, consumer dignity and choice, the first standard, is at the centre of the new model. Think of it as the hub of a wheel. When aged care services are assessed against any of the standards, they will have to demonstrate that working partnership, that consumer dignity and choice is apparent in each of the other standards.
This means, for instance, that when the Commission audits a residential facility against personal and clinical care, not only does the home have to demonstrate the care reflects best practice, residents at the home will need to confirm the care is safe and right for them.
When the Commission assesses an organisation’s service environment, not only does the home have to demonstrate the environment is welcoming, safe, clean and well-maintained, residents have to confirm they feel safe, comfortable and as if they belong there.
Accordingly, how well providers perform under the new standards will depend on the feedback auditors receive directly from you or your family. To encourage that positive feedback, you should see more consultation, more communication and more engagement than ever before.
If you already have enough of this happening with the organisation providing your care, great. It’s a sign that your partner or your family member is already at the heart of their care model. If it hasn’t been happening, this will change under the standards.
So, while some people are inclined to resist change, the new standards empower everyone receiving aged care services. They make you and those you love a respected partner in the planning and delivery of appropriate care.
Embrace the change.
If you have any questions on the new aged care quality standards or about The Richardson, please contact us today.