Consumers need to have greater confidence in the quality of aged care services with the right to expect that their personal needs and choices will be adequately met.
This has been difficult for government to regulate and assess so the Department of Health has drafted new standards for quality care. If adopted, these standards will consistently apply across home and residential care and replace the existing accreditation standards.
Instead of focussing on assessing provider processes, the new standards focus more on the following quality outcomes for consumer:
Consumer dignity and choice around care and services accessed
Consumer involvement in ongoing assessment and planning
Receipt of personal and clinical care that is right and appropriate for the consumer
Access to support and services that enable the consumer to do the things they want
Feeling safe, comfortable and belonging within the service environment
Supported and encouraged to provide feedback and involved in the resolution
Receive quality care and services when needed from people who are knowledgeable, capable and caring, and
Confidence that the organisation is well run.
Having a single set of consumer-focused standards should make it easier for clients and their families to understand what they can expect from a service.
The new standards are expected to apply from 1 July 2018 with a 12-month transition period, but are subject to final approval by Government.