Every older person who accessing aged care services, as well as their families and loved ones, want the same thing – quality care. Starting from July next year, the Federal Government is introducing a Single Aged Care Quality Framework across the whole aged care sector.

What this means is the government is intending to have one single quality framework, covering all aged care services such as residential aged care facilities, home care, transition care and Aboriginal flexible aged care. Instead of what is currently in place, where there are different quality frameworks for each aged care service type.

“The quality of our aged care services is everyone’s business,” said Ken Wyatt, The Minister for Aged Care.

There are two key parts of this framework that are open for comment and discussion. The first is a single set of quality standards for all aged care services, this part is currently in a draft set.

The second part is a streamlined process for assessing provider performance against the single set of standards. There are currently three proposed options for assessing performance, which include;

  • Option 1: An assessment process based on aged care setting with different approaches used for residential settings and home/community settings (based on the status quo with improvements)
  • Option 2: Introducing a single risk based assessment process that is applicable to all aged care settings
  • Option 3: Use of a safety and quality declaration by organisations providing low risk services readily available to the broader population. (If supported this option can be combined with Option 1 or Option 2)

Mr Wyatt says he is open to feedback from anyone who is interested in the quality of aged care, which includes people who use or provide aged care.

“The aged care reforms the Government is putting in place have been designed in consultation with the sector and consumer representatives.

“We have an opportunity to shape the future of an affordable, sustainable and flexible aged care sector and the two consultation papers I have released are a crucial part of this important process.

The papers propose changes that will apply to Australian Government subsidised aged care services. This includes aged care services for residential care, home care, flexible care and the Commonwealth Home Support Programme as well as the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Flexible Aged Care Program.

“What we are proposing will affect consumers, their families and carers, aged care organisations, staff of organisations, and other professionals in the aged care sector and related sectors.

If you, or someone you know, is interested in completing a submission for this framework, then visit the department’s consultation hub.

The closing date for submissions is Friday 21 April, 2017.

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