Choosing an Aged Care Home or Provider is an important decision for elderly Australians and their families. But, when you have so many choices of Homes and providers, how do you determine which one is good for you?
Not all Aged Care Homes or Providers are the same in delivering quality services, and choosing a compliant one will help keep you or your loved ones safe. Fortunately, there is a way to check if your Aged Care choice has compliance issues.
In this article, we’ll look at non-compliance in Aged Care and how you can check if an Aged Care Provider or Home is registered as non-compliant.
What is non-compliance in Aged Care?
Aged Care Providers must meet their given responsibilities under the Aged Care Act 1997, the Aged Care Principles or its Commonwealth funding agreement. The Government sets these health and safety standards to ensure that seniors are given safe and high-quality care.
When a provider is found to have not met these standards, they will be issued a non-compliance score, and they must take steps to improve their services. Examples of non-compliance in Aged Care could be providing poor-quality food to its residents, keeping premises unclean, and employing personnel that don’t have the right Aged Care qualifications.
Who audits and keeps track of Aged Care quality and safety?
The Australian Government regulates all government-funded aged care providers through the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission. They are responsible for auditing and monitoring the quality of Aged Care services, whether from a Home Provider or an Aged Care Home.
The Commission does not monitor Private Aged Care Homes and Providers. Instead, private providers, such as retirement villages and certain specialist workers or caretakers, would be subjected to different audits. Hence, it’s important to be familiar with how your Aged Care Provider is regulated.
Quality Standards in Aged Care
The Commission audits Aged Care Providers and homes based on eight key Quality Standards, which are:
- Consumer dignity and choice. Elderly Australians are treated with dignity and respect, and can maintain their identity. They can also make informed choices about the care and services they choose.
- Ongoing assessment and planning. Elderly Australians are a partner in ongoing assessment and planning that helps them get the care and services needed for their health and well-being.
- Personal and clinical care. Elderly Australians get the personal and clinical care that is safe and right for them.
- Services and supports for daily living. Elderly Australians get the daily living services and support important to their health and well-being.
- Organisation’s service environment. Elderly Australians feel safe and comfortable in their homes or providers’ service environments.
- Feedback and complaints. Elderly Australians feel safe and are encouraged to provide feedback and complaints, and appropriate actions are taken to address them.
- Human resources. Elderly Australians are given quality care from knowledgeable, capable, and caring people.
- Organisational governance. Elderly Australians are confident that their provider or home is well run and are partners in delivering quality care and services.
What are the penalties for non-compliance in Aged Care?
An April-June review report released by the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission found 217 non-compliance cases against at least one Quality Standard. Once a quality accessor reports that a service has not complied with the Standard, they will record this and submit it to the Commission in a performance assessment report.
The Commission will then begin a four-stage process as follows:
Stage 1 – Determination of “Serious Risk”. The Commission determines if the non-compliance places a serious risk to seniors’ safety, health, or well-being.
Stage 2 – Notification. The Commission will notify the provider of the service that hasn’t complied with the standard, as well as the Department of Health.
Stage 3 – Timetable for Improvement. The Commission will issue a Timetable for Improvement (TFI) to set and monitor the provider’s services against the Quality Standard.
Stage 4 – Assessment. The Commission will assess if improvements have been made at the end of the TFI.
It’s important to note that if the Commission has determined a service to impose “serious risk” to seniors at Stage 1, they may skip Stage 2 and proceed straight to an improvement timeline and assessments. Providers might also be imposed sanctions if the Commission isn’t satisfied with the suggested improvements in Stage 4.
How to find out if an Aged Care Home or Provider is non-compliant
You can check the compliance status of an Aged Care Home or Provider through My Aged Care’s ‘Find a Provider’ tool online. You can also see a compliance rating for each provider, highlighting their overall compliance history, performance, and updates.
Finding a quality Aged Care Home or Provider
Selecting the right Aged Care Home or Provider is crucial to a senior’s safety, well-being, and overall happiness. Hence, it’s important that you understand all your options and have the right information at hand to choose the best one for your needs.
Fortunately, there’s always help available. CareAbout helps carers and seniors find care and navigate the various available Home Care and Aged Care options. For experienced help with understanding Aged Care Homes or Providers, contact our team for a personalised discussion.