Last week, the Federal Health Department released a draft of new Aged Care Quality Standards.

The Australian Aged Care Quality Agency are developing “guidance and educational material” to support the Standards and has commenced piloting of the draft Standards and guidance material.

A single set of quality standards is a key deliverable of the Single Aged Care Quality Framework.

The Aged Care Quality Standards will apply to all aged care services and will replace the current four sets of aged care standards.

This includes; Accreditation Standards, Home Care Standards, National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Flexible Aged Care Program Quality Framework Standards and Transition Care Standards.

The Standards have been structured so that organisations will only have to meet the Standards that are relevant to them.

Aged care peak body, Leading Age Services Australia, have shared their thoughts about what these new standards mean for the industry.

“Quality of care within the industry continues to be our highest priority and we welcome the new draft Aged Care Quality Standards released by the Department of Health on 30 January 2018,” says LASA CEO, Sean Rooney.

“LASA has sought funding from Government to support providers to implement the new standards and is currently considering a program of activities to support Members in this transition.”

“A further consideration is that these standards may potentially be impacted by changes in the accreditation system and processes as a result of quality inquiries, including the Carnell Paterson Report, such as the move to having unannounced visits replace announced re-accreditation visits.”

“Collectively, we need to translate these developments into appropriate actions and outcomes that will address identified shortcomings and contribute to continuous improvement and community confidence.”

“LASA’s commitment to ensuring this outcome is emphatic as our country needs an accreditation system that assures the community of the safety, well-being and quality of life for older Australians living in residential aged care.”

Subject to agreement by the Government, the Standards are expected to be implemented from 1 July 2018.

A 12-month transition period will apply, which means that assessment against the new Standards is expected to commence from 1 July 2019.

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