The Australian Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission(AACQSC) has released a new set of accreditation standards which come into effect as of the 1st of July this year (2019). These are to replace the current accreditation standards which were introduced many years ago.
As explained by My Aged Care, the purpose of Accreditation standards is ‘To make sure you’re receiving the best care possible, all aged care homes receiving government subsidies need to meet quality standards. These standards are called accreditation standards. They cover areas such as management, staffing, health and personal care, resident lifestyle, living environment, catering, cleaning, continuous improvement, and safety and security.’
The current set of Accreditation Standards comprises of 4 standards, with a total of 44 outcomes. Aged Care Facilities must meet all 44 outcomes to be able to maintain their accreditation and continue operating.
“The NEW Accreditation Standards being released this year mean some significant changes to the way an Aged Care Facility or Home Care provider provides care to their consumers,” says Ms Anderson.
“Firstly, both Aged Care and Home Care will be held to the same Accreditation Standards, whereas previously they each had a different set of standards,”
“Secondly, there is a much stronger focus on what is being called Consumer Directed Care.”
The AACQSC explains ‘consumer directed care’ by way of ‘The new Standards make it easier to check that people receive good care. Good care is not about your provider ‘ticking boxes’. It’s about them caring for you and your individual needs.’
“Each standard is specifically designed to dictate what kind of care that you or your loved one (the consumer) can expect. Each Aged Care Provider must meet an “outcome” for each consumer and then also demonstrate how that outcome is being met,” says Naomi Anderson.
There will now be eight standards. Each standard directly relates to an aspect of care which contributes to consumers safety, health and well-being:
1. Consumer dignity and choice
2. Ongoing assessment and planning with consumers
3. Personal care and clinical care
4. Services and supports for daily living
5. Organisation’s service environment
6. Feedback and complaints
7. Human resources
8. Organisational governance
“With the introduction of the new standards, consumers will have more choice and involvement in their care. This in turn, should make places such as Aged Care Facilities feel more ‘home’ like, and less like an institution. After all, it is their home, so why should consumers be made to feel like they need to bend to the routines of the facility?” concludes Ms Anderson.