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From 1 July 2019, the new Aged Care Quality Standards (the Standards) will replace the existing aged care standards applying to the sector. The Standards will apply to all organisations providing Commonwealth-subsidised aged care services (aged care providers) and focus on quality outcomes for consumers, so that consumers, their families, carers and representatives can understand what they can expect from aged care providers. With heightened scrutiny on the sector and the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety, it is critically important that aged care providers ensure they are meeting all regulatory requirements that apply to them.

About the Standards

There are eight Standards:

  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.

Each Standard is structured to include:

  • a statement of outcome for the consumer
  • a statement of expectation for the organisation, and
  • organisational requirements to demonstrate that the standard has been met.

Compliance

Compliance with the Standards is mandatory from the date of commencement and aged-care providers will need to demonstrate their performance on an ongoing basis. However, providers only need to meet Standards that are relevant to the type of care and services they provide, and the environment in which services are delivered. If aged care providers fail to comply with the Standards, the Australian Government may take action under aged care legislation or through the funding agreement with the organisation.

Aged care providers will have a lot of work on their hands in the lead up to the commencement of the Standards, including:

  • reviewing their governance framework, including systems, policies and procedures
  • preparing an improvement plan to ensure compliance with the Standards
  • consulting with stakeholders regarding any proposed improvements required to meet the Standards, and
  • implementing any changes identified.

Sparke Helmore’s corporate advisory practice has a wealth of experience helping organisations comply with various laws and standards, including legislation and standards governing the aged care sector. If your organisation requires assistance to ensure compliance with the Standards before they come into effect, please get in touch.

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