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Australian Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission: The Eight Standards for Residential Aged Care

on the Thursday, May 26, 2022

Every aged care home in Australia that receives government funding is assessed and accredited by the Australia Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission. Assessments are performed every three years, or more often if concerns are raised.

Commission staff must check that each aged care home meets eight minimum standards:

1. Consumer Dignity and Choice

  • Are residents treated with dignity and respect?
  • Can residents maintain their identity?
  • Can residents make choices about their care and services?
  • Can residents live the lives they choose?

2. Ongoing Assessment and Planning

  • Are residents/families involved in regular assessments?
  • Are assessments held regularly to maintain the right level of care?
  • Are residents receiving the care and services they need to maintain their health and wellbeing?

3. Personal and Clinical Care

  • Can residents’ access personal care and clinical care?
  • Is the care safe and correct for each resident?

4. Services and Supports for Daily Living

  • Can residents access services and supports for daily living?
  • Are the services and supports supporting each resident’s health and wellbeing?

5. Organisation’s Service Environment

  • Do residents feel like they are safe and comfortable in the aged care home’s environment?

6. Feedback and Complaints

  • Do residents feel safe, encouraged, and supported to give feedback and make complaints?
  • Is appropriate action taken when feedback/complaints are received?

7. Human Resources

  • Do aged care residents receive quality care and services when required?
  • Are staff members knowledgeable, capable and caring?

8. Organisational Governance

  • Is the aged care home (organization) well run?
  • Are resident’s partners in improving the delivery of care and services?

When commission auditors visit an aged care home, they do the following:

  • Interview residents’, families, and staff
  • Observe care
  • Review the homes documentation
  • Write a site audit

Visits can be unannounced.

After a visit, it takes about a month for the commission to decide on the quality and standard of care. It can then be up to a month again for the audit report to be published online.

What is a Bad Report?

When an aged care home is found to not meet the above standards, the commission will decide how serious these inadequacies are. In increasing order of seriousness, the report will say if a home is:

Not Meeting Standards

The aged care home is found to be not meeting one or more of the eight minimum aged care standards. Each standard has three to seven individual requirements.

Serious Risk

If an aged care home is found to be a serious risk, it means that the quality of care has placed or may place residents’ health, safety, and wellbeing of residents at risk. (e.g., under skilled staff)

Sanctions

A sanction will be placed on an aged care home when the home places an immediate and severe risk to residents’ health, safety, and wellbeing. (e.g., poor clinical care, organisational problems, assault, avoidable illness, dangerous administration of medication and staffing)

Residents’ families are notified in writing. Aged care homes must hold a meeting for residents and families and outline what the problems are and how they will be fixed by a certain date.

When an aged care home is sanctioned, the following penalties can be handed down:

  • No Commonwealth subsidies for any new residents for a set time, usually six months
  • An adviser/administrator is appointed to assist the home in getting things up to standard
  • Staff at the aged care home receive special training to ensure they understand the importance of caring for elderly Australians
Revoking Accreditation Status

If an aged care home has sanctions imposed and does not take the time to improve their standards, the commission can take away a home’s accreditation. This means the home cannot take any new residents or receive government subsidies. In this case, the home can reapply for accreditation or shut down completely.

Begin your search for aged care homes near you by clicking on your state below:

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