New aged-care standards

Wednesday, 03 July, 2019

New aged-care standards

The Morrison government has unveiled a major quality and safety aged-care reform package.

“Today is the first upgrade to residential aged-care standards in 20 years,” Minister for Aged Care and Senior Australians Richard Colbeck said on 1 July, when the reforms were announced.

The new standards are designed “to improve transparency for senior Australians and their families, as well as making regulation clearer for providers”, Colbeck said.

These standards apply to all Australian Government funded aged-care services — including residential care, home care and flexible care — as well as those services under the Commonwealth Home Support Programme.

The announcement comes as a new Charter of Aged Care Rights also takes effect as of 1 July, which outlines 14 rights of senior Australians in care.

As part of these reforms the government has also taken steps to lower aged-care fees in the home and to reduce the use of restraints.

“Aged-care providers must now satisfy a number of conditions before physical and chemical restraints can be used,” Colbeck said on the government’s strengthening of restraint regulation. “Senior Australians must be treated with dignity and respect — this is now explicitly set out in our law.”

Any government-funded aged-care home is required to comply with the National Aged Care Mandatory Quality Indicator Program. A program that consists of three clinical quality indicators:

  1. Pressure injuries
  2. Use of physical restraint
  3. Unplanned weight loss

“The new standards reflect contemporary best practice and current community views appropriate for all aged-care settings,” Aged Care Quality and Safety Commissioner Janet Anderson said.

For more information, see here.

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