The decision to move a loved one into a care home is never an easy one, regardless of the circumstances. However, the knowledge all homes must now meet the rigorous Commonwealth-mandated ‘8 Standards in Aged Care’ can, at least, provide reassurance they get the help and respect they deserve.
On 1st July 2019, Australia’s Aged Care Quality Standards came into effect. These set the aged care standards by which all care homes must operate, ensuring their residents are treated with dignity and respect, in an environment that is both safe and fit-for-purpose. These standards provided the benchmark for what good care should look like. The Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission has the responsibility for assessing and monitoring government-funded aged care services against these Quality Standards.
The first standard recognises the importance of a consumer’s sense of self. It ensures aged care consumers are treated with dignity and respect, and are able to make informed decisions for themselves, when possible. Their identity, culture and diversity must be valued, their privacy respected, and their personal information kept confidential at all times.
This first standard incorporates seven key concepts:
Dignity and respect— recognising the consumers' individuality and treating them with respect at all times.
Identity, culture, and diversity— sensitive and inclusive care that acknowledges and respects their cultural identity.
Cultural safety— an understanding and respect of the consumer’s culture.
Choice— allowing them freedom of choice to understand and determine their care options.
Dignity of risk— allowing them this freedom of choice, balanced with protection from making decisions that may be harmful to themselves.
Information— relaying information to consumers in a way they can easily understand.
Personal privacy— respecting their personal privacy (and the privacy of their data) at all times.
Standard 2. Ongoing assessment and planning with consumers
This standard ensures consumers remain part of their assessment and planning. Their home has a responsibility to identify and address their wishes in respect to present care and any future provisions. They must adhere to the following requirements:
Consideration of the consumer’s health and well-being, so that it meets their specific care needs.
Addressing the consumer’s particular needs, goals, and preferences.
Keeping the consumer involved in their assessments and any planning for their future, taking care to thoroughly explaining the outcomes.
Regularly reviews of the consumer’s care to ensure they remain effective; changing, if necessary.
Standard 3. Personal care and clinical care
The third standard works to ensure that any personal and clinical care is both safe and appropriate for the consumer. This includes services such as: bathing, dressing, and specialised nursing or therapy services.
These are the standards used to apply these requirements:
Ensuring that the consumer is receiving best practical care, tailored to their needs, designed to enhance their health and well-being.
Keeping them safe from any common risks or dangers.
Meeting the needs, goals, and preferences of consumers nearing the end of their life, to make them feel as comfortable and respected as possible.
Promptly addressing any deterioration or change of their mental or physical health.
Keeping accurate documentation of the consumer’s condition, needs, and preferences, while keeping any other relevant carers well informed.
When necessary, promptly referring them to other care providers.
Reducing infection risks with proper control practices and appropriate antibiotic prescriptions.
Standard 4. Services and supports for daily living
The fourth standard ensures the daily living services and supports are provided to consumers keep them healthy, happy, and in control of their lives. Allowing them to keep on achieving their goals, in a way that is meaningful and health-promoting, despite their challenges.
Standard four is enforced with the following requirements:
Consumers receive safe and effective services, supporting their needs, goals, and preferences, as well as promoting their independence, health, happiness, and quality of life.
Services and supports that encourage their continued participation in the community, while maintaining their social relationships and personal interests.
Relaying information about the consumer’s condition, needs, and preferences to other carers.
Providing meals with variety and nutritional value.
Ensuring equipment is safe, clean and well-maintained.
Standard 5. Organisation’s service environment
Standard five is designed to make the consumer feel welcome, safe and comfortable in the service environment. This applies, in particular, to the physical environment for the consumer’s care, and is achieved with the following requirements:
Creating a welcome environment where they can enjoy a sense of belonging.
Ensuring that environment is safe, clean, well-maintained, making the consumer as comfortable as possible.
Standard 6. Feedback and complaints
Standard six is designed to make the consumer feel safe, supported, and empowered to give feedback on their care (including complaints). They should always feel involved in their feedback and any subsequent actions that arise from them.
This standard is applied with the following requirements:
Consumers (and their family and friends) are encouraged to provide feedback to carers.
Consumers are given access to a range of ways to provide feedback, including advocates and language services.
Every complaint is to be addressed, actioned, and then communicated to the consumer.
Feedback and complaints are to be reviewed, with the aim of helping improve the quality of care.
Standard 7. Human resources
The seventh standard focuses on the quality of care and services provided, ensuring that it is from people who are capable and caring. It relates to the qualifications, skills and efficiency of the carers, and is enforced with the following requirements:
Staff must have the necessary qualifications and skills to provide an excellent standard of care.
The workforce needs to be large and diverse enough to provide safe and quality care for all under their responsibility.
Interactions with consumers are kind, caring, and respectful of their identity, culture, and diversity.
Staff are trained and equipped to deliver high quality care, and receive the support they need to deliver that care.
Staff performance is regularly assessed, monitored, and then reviewed to maintain high standards.
Standard 8. Organisational governance
The eighth and final standard addresses the running of the organisation, to give the consumer confidence, and a feeling that they are a partner in their own care. The home’s governing bodies should foster a culture of safety and inclusivity; fully accountable for the level of care and service it provides. Stringent risk management must be in place to ensure residents enjoy the fullest, safest life possible.
This standard is applied through the following requirements:
Consumers are involved in their own care at every stage: development, delivery, and evaluation.
The organisation promotes a culture of safety, inclusion, and quality care, and are accountable for all of these.
Governance systems are effective, and including: continuous improvement, workforce governance, compliance, feedback and complaints.
Risk management is in place, addressing: high impact and high-prevalence risks, identifying and resolving cases of abuse or neglect, managing and preventing incidents.
Quality Standards performance for aged care homes
From July 2020, a care home’s aged care standards will be easier to see and compare against these Quality Standards.
Based on assessments from the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission, their performance against each of the Quality Standards will be rated using four bars.
If an aged care home meets ALL the requirements within a Standard, it will be awarded all four bars- this will decrease if there are areas for improvement.
If a care service has less than 4 bars for any given Standard, they will also have a compliance action. (See the Compliance page here for more information)
Where no bars are shown, the provider has not been assessed against this Standard yet.
How can I check an aged care home’s performance against the Quality Standards?
You can use ‘My Aged Care’ Find a provider tool to search for care homes, then see their performance against the Quality Standards.
This tool will let you:
view their performance against each Standard
see the list of the requirements considered for each Standard
download or print the results in a Summary Assessment Report
compare the bars across different aged care services
These reports can help you check your potential care home meets the standards of the Commission and the standards that you need.
Haisey Home Care are proud of our Aged Care Standard’s performance and record. If you’d like a chat with us about your needs, just drop us a message here (you’ll also find our email and telephone number here too). We look forward to hearing from you!