Nursing homes will no longer receive advance warning of audits by the regulator in a bid to prevent the type of abuse of the elderly that was unearthed at the scandal-plagued Oakden facility in South Australia.
The Minister for Aged Care, Ken Wyatt, said on Wednesday that announced accreditation visits would be replaced with unannounced audits across Australia’s residential aged care facilities, “to help ensure safe, quality care standards are maintained at all centres, at all times”.
Mr Wyatt said the Federal Government would move as soon as possible to implement the measure.
The measure (Recommendation 8) is contained in the Review of National Aged Care Quality Regulatory Processes, which the Minister released on Wednesday.
“I ordered this review after the appalling revelations at South Australia’s Oakden facility, and there have been other high-profile aged care failures which have highlighted where parts of our systems have sadly let us down,” Mr Wyatt said.
“Aged care safety and quality are non-negotiable and must be delivered to residents 365 days of the year, without exception.
“While the overwhelming majority of facilities provide excellent care and are working to continually improve services, our focus must be on those that are not delivering.”
The Australian Aged Care Quality Agency will continue to conduct initial accreditation audits in consultation with the provider, to allow them to understand the standards and meet licensing requirements.
“The old process of notifying providers ahead of subsequent re-accreditation reviews will go, replaced by comprehensive unannounced audits,” Mr Wyatt said. “Our commitment to this will be relentless, on behalf of all older Australians, who deserve nothing but the best of care.
“I remain equally committed to working with all aged care providers and the entire care sector, to ensure our quality and safety standards are world-class.”
The review report is available here.
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