25 September 2023

Inspectors to open doors to aged care homes

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A crackdown on the quality and safety of Australia’s residential aged care homes has come into force with the Department of Health introducing unannounced audits for homes seeking re-accreditation.

Minister for Aged Care, Ken Wyatt said that from now on there would be no compromise with audit teams arriving at any time to monitor and ensure the provision of safe, quality care, 365 days of the year.

“This is about certainty and confidence for older Australians and families whose loved ones are receiving care,” Mr Wyatt said.

He said the introduction of unannounced audits marked the beginning of a quantum shift in aged care quality compliance and customer-directed care.

“Work is advancing on Australia’s new, independent Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission, which begins operations on 1 January 2019,” the Minister said.

“The new re-accreditation audit regime builds on the existing system of unannounced inspections by the Quality Agency.”

He said that since last July, the Agency had conducted almost 3,000 unannounced assessment visits on homes, targeting specific quality standard requirements, with nine homes losing their accreditation.

“To maintain their approval to receive Commonwealth funding, aged care homes must comply with four standards comprising 44 required outcomes, including the adequate provision of qualified staff, clinical care, nutrition, hygiene, dignity, privacy and security,” Mr Wyatt said.

“During re-accreditation audits, aged care residents are also encouraged to provide feedback,” he said.

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