CRACKDOWN: Snap audits on aged care facilities

THE pressure has been turned up on the under-fire aged care system after the Federal Government announced they would be conducting snap safety audits on all facilities across Australia.

The sector has come under fire in recent times with reports emerging of poor practices, financially-crippling contracts, low safety standards and abuse.

But the Turnbull Government is hoping to draw a line in the sand, putting homes on notice by announcing it will conduct unannounced quality and safety audit as part of its commitment to aged care reforms.

The audits will be carried out by the Australian Aged Care Quality Agency.

"Our commitment to safe, high-quality care is non-negotiable and I am sure is shared by all Australians," Aged Care Minister Ken Wyatt said.

"These changes will strengthen the oversight of aged care services to provide greater assurance that standards of care are consistently maintained, not just at re-accreditation times.

"While the vast majority of Aged Care homes provide excellent service all year, this reform is designed to give residents and their families' greater confidence in care delivery."

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The minister said the audits builds on the "existing unannounced compliance monitoring".

"Since October, the Agency has conducted over 1,500 unannounced assessment visits on homes, targeting specific quality standard requirements," he said. 

"The Quality Agency has also increased its focus on broader areas of risk, conducting unannounced review audits of all 44 required quality outcomes at 22 homes. Since July 2017, five homes have had their accreditation revoked.

"Every senior Australian deserves to be treated with dignity and to receive the best care and I am committed to working with providers and everyone involved in this vital sector to ensure Australia continues to provide world-class aged care."

More information on unannounced re-accreditation audits can be found on the Department of Health website at https://agedcare.health.gov.au/ensuring-quality

Information can also be found at the Quality Agency website https://www.aacqa.gov.au/providers/news-and-resources/moving-to-unannounced-audits

The Quality Agency publishes accreditation and compliance decisions and resident feedback results on its website www.aacqa.gov.au.


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