The Australian Aged Care Quality Agency (Quality Agency) is responsible for the assessment of aged care homes in Australia. The Agency is working to provide better information on the accreditation process, improve public awareness of its published audit reports, and make information on the quality of care and services accessible to consumers of aged care services.
The Quality Agency assesses the quality of care and services in residential aged care homes through a site audit against the Accreditation Standards. Following a site audit, the assessment team prepares an accreditation audit report which is published on its website. Residential aged care homes are usually re-accredited every three years and receive an unannounced visit to monitor performance against the Standards at least once per year.
“The consumer’s experience of the quality of care and services is an important part of the site audit. This ensures that the consumer experience is considered in decision making by the Quality Agency,” says CEO Nick Ryan.
Aged care homes must notify residents, or their representatives, of the date of the Quality Agency’s audit so they have the opportunity to meet with the assessment team to provide their views as to the quality of care and services provided.
At least 10 percent of residents and representatives are interviewed by the Quality Agency during a site audit. Representatives may include family members, or their representatives. Information provided by residents and their representatives is used alongside an assessment of the homes management practices, systems and processes through interviews, observations and review of documentation.
The Quality Agency is currently consulting with the aged care sector and undertaking research to develop a report for consumers structured on the feedback the Agency receives as part of the accreditation audit.