Super-sized aged care quality regulator announced, plus aged care ratings

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The national independent Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission (ACQSC) – which brings together three agencies: the Australian Aged Care Quality Agency, Aged Care Complaints Commissioner and the aged care regulatory functions of the Department of Health – will see performance ratings against quality standards for aged care homes be made publicly available.

Aged Care Minister Ken Wyatt says the new Commission will start 1 January 2019:

“The significant reforms will give senior Australians and their families confidence they will be properly cared for and will, for the first time, establish a new national independent Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission and increase transparency through a publically available rating against quality standards.”

“At the heart of the latest Turnbull Government reforms, aged care regulation, compliance and complaints handling will be brought together in a new and independent Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission.”

It follows the Carnell-Paterson review into South Australia’s Oakden Older Persons Mental Health Facility which found the current aged care regulatory framework was “fragmented”.

As we covered here, Kate Carnell has referred to the UK’s Care Quality Commission (CQC) as an example of what providers and the public can expect.

The changes will also introduce:

  • A Chief Clinical Advisor to advise on complex clinical matters;
  • A “user-friendly” provider comparison tool on the My Aged Care website; and
  • A Serious Incident Response Scheme to respond to problems such as flu outbreaks and reports of abuse.

A taskforce is now being put together to facilitate the transition but they will need to move fast – 1 January is only eight months away.