Leading up to and following commencement of the Quality Standards in July this year, the Commission has given priority to providing useful information, guidance and resources for providers. I’m pleased to advise that another resource is now available – in the form of an app which gives users instant, on-the-go access to information on the Standards via your mobile device.
The app includes all the key information about each of the Quality Standards, including the consumer outcome and organisation statement, and the requirements that underpin the Standards. As well as a glossary, the app also has links to further information, guidance and resources on the Commission’s website. There is a feedback function, so users can let the Commission know what additional content they would like to see on the app.
Over time, the app will be further developed to include more information for providers and consumers to ensure that anyone needing Quality Standards content will be able to access it anywhere, anytime. Please consider going to the App Store (for Apple devices) or Google Play (for android devices) and searching for ‘quality standards aged care’ to download the app today.
I’m also pleased to inform you that the Commission’s first Annual Report is now available, and can be accessed on our website. The report covers activities during the first six months of the Commission’s operation (January-June 2019), and also includes information on the final six months of the Australian Aged Care Quality Agency (July-December 2018). For anyone looking to learn more about the Commission’s early work, this Annual Report is a useful source of information.
Getting to know the Standards – Standard 4, Services and support for daily living
Standard 4 is featured this month, in our regular look at each of the Quality Standards, the overarching principles and requirements, along with links to supporting information including guides, resources and case studies.
The consumer outcome for Standard 4 is:
I get the services and supports for daily living that are important for my health and well-being and that enable me to do the things I want to do.
The services and supports referred to in Standard 4 cover a wide range of options with the aim that consumers live as independently as possible and enjoy life. They include, but are not limited to, food services, domestic assistance, home maintenance, transport, and recreational and social activities.
While a consumer might be experiencing challenges with their health and abilities, they will still have goals they want to achieve, preferences about their daily routine, and an interest to live as well as they can.
Delivering services and supports with this aim requires a consumer-centred approach, with each consumer’s physical and mental health, spiritual, emotional and social life all taken into consideration. For example, it’s not just about giving consumers social opportunities, but making sure they feel connected socially, can exercise choice about what they do, and are supported to participate and contribute.
Care and services are expected to be delivered in a way that responds to a person's needs and preferences, and organisations should have policies and procedures in place to support staff to deliver care in accordance with each consumer’s care and services plan.
It is recommended that organisations review the reflective questions for each of the requirements in Standard 4, along with the examples of actions and evidence.
- Standard 4 - Services and supports for daily living
- Guidance and resources - Standard 4
- Case studies
‘From the Chief Clinical Advisor’
Each month, Dr Melanie Wroth, the Commission’s Chief Clinical Advisor, will be sharing news, advice and updates for providers on a range of issues across the aged care sector.
Reminder about registration
There have been incidents recently, reported in the media, in which a de-registered health practitioner has been working in several residential aged care facilities. The person involved in these incidents was engaged through a nursing agency.
The Commission would like to draw providers’ attention to their responsibilities under the Aged Care Act 1997 and Quality of Care Principles 2014 to ensure that staff are appropriately skilled in order to meet the care needs of care recipients. This includes ensuring that staff have the qualifications to perform their roles effectively.
A critical part of this responsibility is to ensure that all health practitioners who are employed are legally registered. Providers retain this responsibility regardless of whether they employ a staff member directly or use the services of a recruitment/employment agency.
Documentation presented as proof of qualifications or registration should be reviewed carefully to confirm authenticity. Registration status can easily be checked online at the AHPRA website. The national register, maintained by the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency, contains accurate, up to date information about the registration status of all registered health practitioners in Australia. All professions covered by the register have annual registration renewal dates, and there is no gap between being granted registration and appearing on the register.
Providers should also be aware that there are criminal penalties under State and Territory laws for advertising health services that are to be provided by a de-registered health practitioner.
Preparing for performance assessment
The Commission has developed new one-day industry-focused workshops that will help participants to prepare for performance assessment. There will be two workshops – one aimed at residential aged care services and the other at home services.
Participants in these sessions will undertake practical activities designed to ensure they understand:
- The Commission’s approach to performance assessment.
- How to use the self-assessment tool to gather and analyse information to evidence performance and/or identify opportunities for improvement.
- How to identify and describe quality outcomes for consumers.
- How to demonstrate performance against the Quality Standards.
The workshops are targeted at senior leaders, managers and decision makers including:
- Care/unit/facility/regional managers
- Registered nurses
- Quality managers and coordinators
- Educators and trainers
- Service managers
- Quality managers
- Supervisors and team leaders
Participants are expected to have a sound knowledge and understanding of the Aged Care Quality Standards and their application.
Further information about the workshops can be found on our website.
For further information and to find out about registration for the workshops, please visit our Courses and education page.
Accountabilities webinar video now available
If you missed November’s Webinar on 'Accountabilities of governing bodies in aged care', a recording of the session is available via the Commission's YouTube channel. Aimed at governing bodies, topics covered included:
- your accountabilities under Standard 8 on Organisational Governance
- the main components of clinical governance and how it applies in different care settings
- what strong and poor clinical governance looks like
- information on key clinical governance issues including anti-microbial stewardship, open disclosure, and the use of restraints in aged care settings.