Abuse at an aged care facility prompts spot checks

Aged care facilities face spot checks after ‘appalling’ abuse revealed at one home.

Nursing homes face spot checks

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.

What do you think? Do you support the Government's changes to the assessment system?



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    26th Oct 2017
    That is good news if there is no corruption involved during the inspections.
    26th Oct 2017
    About time & its a start. I knew someone who worked in a age care home .They hired a chef as administrator the centre all she did was kept cutting costs sure she was getting a profit . You could imagine the old staff & families got no where wìth complaints A disgrace.
    26th Oct 2017
    Complain and you get labelled as "aggressive".
    26th Oct 2017
    Sad state of affairs any facility could go any length of time without whistleblowers
    Of course no notification is at least one step in the right direction, but surely should have always been the case.
    26th Oct 2017
    100% support it!!

    26th Oct 2017
    A great idea. Pity that the aged care industry needs this type of scrutiny.
    26th Oct 2017
    You mean after all the decades of turning a blind eye it is now time to actually do something. I'll be a monkey's uncle. Looks like sustained media focus has forced the bastards to think about those being abused and financially asset stripped in retirement homes.

    26th Oct 2017
    A no brainer, this should have been happening from the start; giving facilities notice is just downright stupid
    26th Oct 2017
    Well done Mr Ken Wyatt Minister for Aged Care.Its certainly time for this.Hope all the aged care facilities take note and pick their game up...
    26th Oct 2017
    Food allowance for aged care clients $6 per day. Food allowance for politicians $184per day. What a joke. Why even bother.
    26th Oct 2017
    $6 per day is woeful!
    27th Oct 2017
    And $184 a day is outrageous.

    26th Oct 2017
    About bloody time! Nursing homes are diabolically bad places (I know - I've been in three of them for a brief time). The trouble is that they're for-profit. At any given time, there's only one registered nurse on duty, and they're run off their feet.
    26th Oct 2017
    Why is everyone so surprised at the abuse in Aged care homes? Time and time again the media has publicised the disgrace of Aged care facilities and nothing has been done to rectify the situation, in fact it has got worse.
    For decades government has demeaned the elderly relegating them to second class citizens, cutting funding and staff numbers until staff are so overworked they often do not get time to properly feed and keep residents hydrated. Broken bones, infections and malnutrition can go undiagnosed but staff are afraid of being black listed if they voice their complaints about the bad treatment of residents.
    Not only the nursing staff, families have been threatened with defamation when they complained about the terrible treatment of familiy members.
    And all the time our plump, well-fed government, when they want a salary rise, cut pensions and funding to the elderly whilst they themselves progress into their huge pensions and perks.
    26th Oct 2017
    It's nowhere near enough! My dad is in a country facility with amazing, caring PC's however as they are SO short staffed they have no hope of doing the job 100% properly & we see things that upset my poor mum (& I) immensely, like falls when resi's attempt to move or stand from a chair or walker because no one is available to see it happen, far less assist them ( is often obvious they simply want to go to the toilet but have no way of asking & even if they do there is no one to ask, often up to half an hour at a time, it's disgraceful) & instead of increasing staff numbers they cut them in an effort to make higher profits!

    We love the staff but have had problems with past managers & is almost impossible to get changes/safety improvements & involving senior state & national level management involved proved useless, as did Aged Care Complaints Commission & Accreditation interviews because they 'd listen to the lies told by GM at the time!

    26th Oct 2017
    I think spot checks may be the way to go, when they knew accreditation was happening, they had extra staff for that day, extra cleaning and the residents were all dressed nicely and so forth, this way if they just walk in without prior arrangement they will see how they really are
    27th Oct 2017
    Great, hope they start with Clancy-Weston Lodge, Wontama Nursing Home in Orange NSW.
    Anne Ozzie
    28th Oct 2017
    its a long overdue start - the minister must be afraid for his seat at the next election if he is implementing this measure, but it needs to go further - There needs to be an series of reforms such as legal ratios of carers to residents, etc If we can have such ratios in dayceare and schools why cant we have them in nursing homes?
    4th Nov 2017
    homes know when they are under review for accreditation - so they can make sure all is just right Spot checks without knowing when or where needs to be ongoing in all states - as long as no one gives the home a 'heads up' . Checks need to be done a few times a year - retail shops have 'mystery shoppers' what about 'mystery visitors'!!!
    28th Feb 2018
    About time. I volunteered at an aged care facility for two years and each time an audit was due furniture got changed around, flowers were put in place, extra staff were there, laundry was up to date and I believe even the meals were better on the day, nothing was out of place and everything was hunky dory on the day. Then it all went back to normal after they left. They had a couple of weeks notice to get all in order. I totally believe in spot checks and they should happen often.