Big changes for aged care facility audits - what it means for aged care staff

27 Aug 2018 4:46 PM
Big changes for aged care facility audits - what it means for aged care staff

A more transparent accreditation system is always a good thing but what affects will it have on consumers and staff?

The Minister for Aged Care, Ken Wyatt, has stated that the new unannounced audit system, rolled out form July 1, will be a “quantum shift” in aged care compliance.

The Aged care homes (ACH) visits are for reaccreditation only and an ACH must lodge a self-assessment form first.

Aged care homes are required to comply with 44 outcomes. Before July 1, notice was given of upcoming an audit visit so there was time to ensure all was in order. That has now changed and visits for reaccreditation can happen at any time.

The main impacts for care workers will be:

Adequate provision of qualified staff

One of the 44 outcomes is adequate provision of qualified staff. This is across Clinical, care workers, laundry, cleaning and management staff. A list of the number against each category is published plus the number of residents. Will this mean increased staffing levels on an ongoing basis during an accreditation year?

Resident feedback

10% of residents have to be interviewed by the audit team and results are published on the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission website

The results are in graph form and the answers give an indication of the opinions of the residents. This information would be of great help to a potential resident to decide on which home to reside in or for staff to choose a suitable workplace. It should also act as a review of residents feedback.

An example of an ACH that has been audited recently is here >> 

Sanctions and non–compliance

Another tool for those searching for an ACH or for new staff is the Myagedcare website. It lists homes who have had an accreditation non-compliance order.

You can search by location here>>

Summary

Both the above information sources, Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission and myagedcare, allow the accreditation system to be more transparent for consumers and staff. It may also mean more pressure on staff to be on high alert during accreditation time - pressure already stretched staff do not need.