Late 2017 saw the Turnbull government announce that there would be relentless spot checks on aged care facilities. This came in the light of numerous instances of aged care facilities failing to meet basic standards.
Aged Care Minister, Mr Ken Wyatt spoke into the situation saying that he believed the current system had let people down and that the government would be ramping up its efforts to address the widespread findings of abuse and neglect.
In relation to the government’s previous method of auditing Mr Wyatt expressed that major changes needed to occur in order to address the condition of the aged care sector, “The old process of notifying providers ahead of subsequent re-accreditation reviews will go, replaced by comprehensive unannounced visits conducted over at least two days.”
In light of the disturbing situations that were verified to have occurred at Oakden, a government run psychiatric aged care facility, both the public and private sector must seek to re-assess their policy, procedures and standards in order to protect Australia’s most vulnerable.
A number of aged care facilities have come forward saying that not only are standards of management, logistics and personal care being checked but also the accounts and financial components within the centres.
It is advised that in order to ensure that your centre runs smoothly in the day to day and in order to meet government requirements that all financials should be checked regularly.
The accounts should be transparent, accessible and checked by a series of employees so as to verify the numbers, processes and approaches as per the centre.
Within the financial and accounting team, a co-ordinated plan of approach, access and conduct is advised to be formulated so that at an aggregated level all individuals understand what is expected of them, the financials and accessibility, especially in regards to government standards.
To assist in the likelihood of a swift and compliant review of an aged care facility’s accounting books, prior preparation, consistent and frequent internal reviews are all measures that aid in the process.
The Turnbull government has been insistent that as the old system of letting aged care facilities know of the date and time of a spot check is completely overturned, aged care facilities and the accountants managing their systems need to position themselves so as to meet the requirements of accessibility, transparency and balance.