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Federal Parliament formally pass first upgrade to aged care standards in 20 years

Australian Federal Parliament has formally passed the new aged care standards under the Single Aged Care Quality Framework overnight, which, in the first upgrade in 20 years, aim to deliver a single approach to quality assessment across all aged care settings.

The first upgrade in 20 years to aged care standards has been passed by Federal Parliament (Source: Shutterstock)
The first upgrade in 20 years to aged care standards has been passed by Federal Parliament (Source: Shutterstock)

The “stronger aged care quality standards”, that are said to benefit millions of senior Australians, are all part of what the Morrison Government are calling their “comprehensive aged care overhaul”.

Federal Minister for Senior Australians and Aged Care, Ken Wyatt, says the passage of the Single Aged Care Quality Framework legislation through the Parliament would intensify quality compliance across residential, home and remote care.

“These new single quality standards have a single focus - to protect the rights of senior Australians,” Minister Wyatt says.

“This Bill is a critical part of the Government’s aged care reforms, focusing on the best outcomes for senior Australians.

“The standards will protect people by placing them at the centre of care in a competitive, market-based system where consumers drive quality and red tape is reduced for residents, families and providers.”

National aged care peak body Leading Age Services Australia (LASA) has welcomed the formal passing of the new aged care standards, which the peak consulted on during development and recently made a submission on for the draft guidance material set to support the standards.

LASA Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Sean Rooney says the standards were a vital component of the Federal Government reform agenda to drive continuous improvements in the quality of aged care.

“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,” Mr Rooney says.

“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.”

Mr Rooney adds that LASA welcomes the transition period for the new standards which will allow the sector to identify what is needed for implementation and also any practical issues to be navigated.

LASA has also stated that it continues to work with its members and Government to help build a high performing, respected and sustainable age services industry, delivering accessible, affordable, quality care and services for older Australians.

Full implementation of the new Aged Care Quality Standards is set to commence from 1 July 2019.

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