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The Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission has imposed sanctions on approved aged care provider Regis Aged Care Pty Limited in relation to its Regis Nedlands facility in Western Australia.

The Commission issued a ‘Notice to Impose Sanctions and Notice of Requirement to Agree to Certain Matters’ on 23 January 2021.

The Commission determined after conducting a surprise site visit to the Regis Nedlands facility in Perth on 20 January 2021 that there is an immediate and severe risk to the health, safety or well-being of care recipients at the facility.

The Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission responded swiftly to notification of alleged assaults of residents at the Japara Noosa aged care service last year.  

The Commission was advised that a resident transferred to hospital following the alleged assault had subsequently passed away.  We are aware that the Queensland Coroner is investigating this matter. Criminal investigations and prosecutions are matters for the police.

The Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission has imposed strict accreditation conditions on St Basil’s Home for the Aged, Victoria, which require it to rectify within 12 months those areas where it is non-compliant with Aged Care Quality Standards. 

The Commission undertook a comprehensive review audit and multiple assessment contacts over the past month at St Basil’s, which informed this accreditation decision.

The Commission has been closely monitoring the quality and care of services at St Basil’s, and especially since the COVID-19 outbreak at the service in July 2020. 

The Commission initially took regulatory action on 26 July in relation to St Basil’s following concerns about the serious impact of the outbreak on the residents and staff. Further regulatory action was imposed on 24 December 2020 which required the provider to immediately take action to manage risks associated with identified non-compliance with the Quality Standards.

The Federal Government has announced its intention to establish a Serious Incident Response Scheme (SIRS) in the aged care sector in early 2021 to help reduce incidents of abuse and neglect in Australian Government-subsidised residential aged care services.

Subject to parliamentary processes, from 1 April 2021, the current compulsory reporting requirements in residential aged care will be replaced by SIRS.  The legislation to support SIRS was introduced in parliament in late 2020.

The Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission rejects claims in today’s The Australian newspaper that the Commission did not act appropriately in relation to Victorian aged care providers that failed to meet required safety standards during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic in that state.

Commissioner Janet Anderson PSM said the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission had used the full range of its regulatory powers where there was an immediate and severe risk to care recipients as a result of the outbreak.

The Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission’s Sector Performance Report for July-September 2020 highlights the Commission’s focus on containing COVID-19 outbreaks in aged care facilities, including by stepping up infection control monitoring spot checks.

The Commission prioritised these spot checks to assess whether providers of residential aged care services had taken all necessary steps to ensure that their staff were trained and proficient in infection control practices and procedures, and were appropriately using personal protective equipment (PPE), including gloves, face masks, face shields and gowns. 

The Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission is calling on all aged care providers to enable and support their residents to be visited safely by family members and friends – especially over the holiday period when we are all looking to reconnect with people who matter to us.

Commissioner Janet Anderson PSM has clearly communicated to aged care providers her expectation that they will continue to focus on minimising the risks and impact of a potential COVID-19 outbreak in their aged care service.

The Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission has released a new comprehensive guide, Outbreak management planning in aged care, for use by residential aged care providers in supporting their workers, care recipients and family members, and visitors to prevent, prepare for and manage an outbreak of COVID-19.

The Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission remains strongly engaged with aged care services experiencing an outbreak of COVID-19 and is exercising all of its powers as the aged care regulator to ensure the safety of residents and staff.

The outbreak at St Basil’s Home for the Aged in Victoria has been devastating for residents and families, and the Commission has been working intensively with the approved provider of the service which operates under the auspices of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia.

Site visits to aged care services by the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission have increased significantly this year.  

The Commission, as the national regulator, has conducted more than 1,100 site visits to aged care services since January, including 410 visits to check infection control practices.

The Commission modified its regulatory program in March 2020 to focus additional effort where it is needed most to ensure that providers are doing everything possible to keep aged care consumers safe.

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