acia was one of a number of peak organisations that provided a submission to the Senate Community Affairs References Committee’s inquiry into the effectiveness of the Aged Care Quality Assessment and accreditation framework for protecting residents from abuse and poor practices, as well as ensuring proper clinical and medical care standards are maintained and practised.
The inquiry looked at a number of important factors affecting some of Australia’s most vulnerable residents. These included the adequacy of the complaints handling system, concerns regardings standards of care and handling of medication and the current systems in place for preventing and reporting serious injuries. However, this list is not exhaustive and in fact, the Committee discussed many relevant matters.
The committee tabled its final report of the inquiry in the Senate on 3 April 2019.
The Senate Enquiry has made the following 10 Recommendations;
5.13 The committee recommends the Australian Government release its consolidated response to all recommendations in key reports made in the past decade to improve aged care service delivery and regulation, and its interaction with the primary health and acute care sectors.
5.19 The committee recommends that the Australian Government clarify that residential aged care providers ultimately hold a duty of care to all residents.
“The new single quality framework standards place great emphasis on the responsibility for RACFs to deliver person-centred care. However, there does not seem to be a corresponding emphasis on person-centred regulation.”
5.24 The committee recommends that the Australian Government implement a clearly articulated principle that the duty of care for the regulation of all care within the aged care residential setting ultimately rests with the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission.
5.29 The committee recommends the Australian Government establish a body with responsibility for aged care research.
5.33 The committee recommends the Australian Government continue work to expand the role of the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission, in consultation with aged care stakeholders, to drive continuous improvement in levels of quality and safety in aged care.
5.38 The committee recommends that the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission work collaboratively with the Department of Health, the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care and aged care stakeholders to develop an industry model of care. This model of care should incorporate a model clinical governance framework which clearly defines the scope of personal and clinical care.
5.39 The committee recommends that the requirements for a model of care and clinical governance framework be more clearly articulated within the Single Aged Care Quality Framework, including clearly defined service outcomes expected from those frameworks.
5.42 The committee recommends that the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission work collaboratively with the Department of Health, the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care and aged care stakeholders to develop benchmarks for staffing levels and skills mix, which includes the requirement to roster a Registered Nurse on duty at all times, to assist residential aged care providers in staff planning and aged care assessors in regulating safe and appropriate staffing.
5.49 The committee recommends the Australian Government take action, as a matter of urgency, to ensure the National Framework for Reducing and Eliminating the Use of Restrictive Practices in the Disability Service Sector is extended to cover the aged care sector.
5.50 The committee recommends the Australian Government investigate, as a matter of urgency, changes to ensure that the use of antipsychotic medications in residential aged care facilities must be approved by the Chief Clinical Advisor of the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission.
A copy of the Committee’s report can be accessed on the committee’s website via the following link: