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Public forum discussing quality in aged care

The Australian Aged Care Quality Agency (Quality Agency) has started a discussion about the quality in aged care and is asking the general public for their input. It will inform the Government's review of the current service standards for aged care providers in residential and home care services.

The Quality Agency is trying to understand what is important to older Australians and their families as consumers of aged care services. This conversation goes to the question of quality care.

Research shows that 80 percent of Australians over the age of 65 will use at least one aged care service in the eight years before their death. The majority of people will first access services in the community and 46 percent of program users will use both community care and residential care in their last years of life.

The Australian Aged Care Quality Agency (Quality Agency) is inviting consumers, aged care workers and providers, researchers and anyone who is interested in ‘quality’ in relation to ageing or aged care to engage on the issue of quality in aged care.

“Our interest in quality is fundamental to what we do every day at the Australian Aged Care Quality Agency,” Australian Aged Care Quality Agency chief executive officer Nick Ryan says.

“However, Government does not have all the answers,” says Mr Ryan. “It is about encouraging active participation in defining a new standard of quality”.

The aim is to get people thinking, asking questions, debating and exploring the best possible ways to describe, encourage, measure and monitor quality in aged care services.

“We also want to hear from aged care service providers. While we agree that safety is paramount, meeting minimal requirements will not necessarily encourage excellence nor will this spell success in the market place over the long term’ Mr Ryan says.

The discussion paper canvasses quality from a number of perspectives including history, drivers for change and desired outcomes. The discussion paper is available until October on the Quality Agency’s website, which also has a feedback channel for the public to provide their views.

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