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Australian Government looking for fewer quality standards in proposed Aged Care Act

Changes to the quality standards are proposed in the new Aged Care Act

<p>Looking after older Australians is the main aim of the new Aged Care Act, but what happens when there are fewer quality standards? [Source: Shutterstock]</p>

Looking after older Australians is the main aim of the new Aged Care Act, but what happens when there are fewer quality standards? [Source: Shutterstock]

Key points

Residential aged care, home support, home care and flexible support are types of aged care currently offered in Australia. The levels of support provided vary depending on a person’s needs and situation, which can change over time. 

Around 213,000 people using home care were aged 65 and over, with most people using aged care services at home, according to the most recent data available on the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare website. 

With delays to the new Aged Care Act announced recently by the Australian Government, understanding the proposed changes to the quality standards can help older Australians understand how this may affect the services they receive. 

Although the aged care quality standards are proposed to be restructured, they still encompass the importance and value placed on giving older Australians the best care possible to ensure that specific needs and preferences can be accommodated.

According to the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission, eight standards are currently required to be upheld by providers for aged care services. These standards are:

  • Standard 1: Consumer dignity and choice;
  • Standard 2: Assessment and planning;
  • Standard 3: Personal care and clinical care;
  • Standard 4: Services and supports for daily living;
  • Standard 5: Service environment;
  • Standard 6: Feedback and complaints;
  • Standard 7: Human resources;
  • Standard 8: Organisational governance.

However, improvements are set to change these with the final draft having last been updated in December last year, with the new seven standards being:

  • Standard 1: The person;
  • Standard 2: The organisation;
  • Standard 3: The care and services; 
  • Standard 4: The environment; 
  • Standard 5: Clinical care;
  • Standard 6: Food and nutrition; 
  • Standard 7: The residential community.

Although seven standards are set to be implemented with the new Aged Care Act, the goal of the aged care quality standards is still to improve the quality of care given to older Australians. These new proposed standards are set to be updated versions of the current eight standards currently in place. 

According to the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission, these newer standards for the proposed new Aged Care Act will each incorporate an ‘expectation statement for older people, [the] intent of each standard and outcomes that providers would be assessed against.’

Australians can still have their say on the proposed update to the aged care quality standards in this online survey until April 30, 2024. 

Having quality standards helps to ensure that service providers offer appropriate and tailored care to older Australians, regardless of the organisation or aged care facility. 

Current guidelines related to non-compliance of the quality standards are available, with continuous improvements required to be implemented and documented by aged care providers when this occurs. 

The Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission monitors progress regarding issues of compliance — or the lack thereof — and publishes relevant information and details online in decision log archives.

The government recently announced the delay to the new Aged Care Act that was set to be rolled out on July 1, 2024. There is now talk of the changes being implemented as late as 2025, with further details available in this recent article about the delay in the Aged Care Act

 

How have these quality standards improved your practice as an aged care worker?

 Let the team at Talking Aged Care know your thoughts on social media. 

For more information and news in the aged care industry, subscribe to our free newsletter. 

 

Relevant content:

Aged Care Act delayed — who will be impacted?

Experts stress that financial help means independence for life

Why women are more likely to have osteoporosis

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