Major Aged Care Reforms – Are You Prepared?

After two years of heart-breaking evidence being heard, the royal commissioners have handed the Federal Government a detailed, revolutionary (and expensive) battle plan for how to fix aged care. You can read the full report here.

This is truly an issue of national significance. The submissions to the Royal Commission heard numerous sad tales of neglect, abuse (whether it be emotional, physical or even financial) and, shamefully, even sexual abuse and assault. The Prime Minister has accepted what the royal commission uncovered is “a national disgrace”.

Those working in (and advising) aged care have known for years it is an industry seriously strained (some would say already broken). It was argued at the Commission at least one in five people receiving residential aged care has had sub-standard care and the report notes one in three Australians in residential aged care have experienced sub-standard facilities. Incredibly, influential lobby group ‘Council of the Ageing’ threatens “at least one-third of providers must go”.

So, what does the Federal Government plan to change in the industry?

The Federal Government has indicated it’s intention to:

  • commit a half a billion-dollar ($452m) response package to implement the recommendations;
  • immediately act on the transparency of fees;
  • extend the viability supplement as an interim measure (making immediately available 18,000 places);
  • commence an audit program of more than 500 facilities a year;
  • commence the process of 1,500 extra audits of facilities per year (under the aged care quality and safety commissioner (“ACQSC”);
  • implement a new quality control system within home care; and
  • have the ACQSC create regulations to ensure further protection against chemical and physical restraint of elders.

What do I have to do?

For now, watch and wait as more details are released from the Federal Govt and the ACQSC. The injection of half a billion dollars into the system will surely mean more funding and budgetary relief for centre providers and leaders to improve facilities, staff training and higher wages (all things identified as being critical for the sector by the Commissioners).

For now, Workplace Wizards recommends you:

  1. Resource – Prepare for a range of strategic projects and change management activities in the next 6-12 months you need to undertake;
  2. Get the Specialist Advice and Support – Plan for legislative and regulatory change to be imposed – with likely increased fines and repercussions for breaches – you and your team need to be across and adhering to changes as they arise.
  3. Be nimble – Accept it is much more likely you will be audited and ensure you’re ready when this eventuality likely occurs; and/or
  4. Have Money – implement some contingency planning in budgets and cash on hand to enable you to access the resources, external assistance and on-demand, short-term labour to ensure you pass your audit / staffing levels and comply with new requirements.

We are proud to partner with several Victorian aged care centers and in-home palliative care providers. If you want an individual consultation with one of our Wizards on how to strengthen your compliance documentation and processes and prepare for the significant change coming to your industry then please reply to this email, and I will be in touch with a suitable date and time.

For specialist assistance contact one of our experienced consultants
on 0458 644 469 or email mark@workplacewizards.com.au.

James Hampel

James Hampel

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