Aged care regulator still to visit two-thirds of aged care homes to check COVID infection control

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Is this a sign that the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission (ACQSC) is lacking the resources it needs – or not?

New data revealed by The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age has found the Commission still has to carry out infection control checks on around two-thirds of providers nationally – half of those in Victoria.

The regulator began an Australia-wide infection control blitz on 3 August at the height of Victoria’s second wave – checking 448 homes out of more than 2,700 services by 11 September.

Four weeks later, this number has reached 961, including 385 in NSW and 345 in Victoria.

By our back-of-envelope calculations, that’s around 128 a week or 25 per business day.

So, should this number be higher?

As we reported here, as of 31 August 2020, the ACQSC had 657.33 full-time equivalent staff – higher than the current 533-person cap on staffing for Government portfolios.

That’s around one staff member to every four aged care homes – do they need more?