Preparing for the new Single Aged Care Quality Framework
07 May 2019
From 1 July 2019, the nature of how aged care services will be assessed will change, with the implementation of the Single Aged Care Quality Framework.
Central to the single quality framework is the new Aged Care Quality Standards. The new standards apply to all forms of aged care – residential, in-home and transition care – and replace the existing separate standards for each type of care service.
The eight new Aged Care Quality Standards focus on ensuring the delivery of quality outcomes for consumers (residents and clients), rather than solely examining provider processes. This aims to make it easier for residents/clients, their families and representatives to understand what they can expect from a service.
Each standard is expressed in three ways: a statement of outcome for the resident/client, a statement of expectation for the organisation, and organisational requirements to demonstrate the standard has been met. This allows for flexibility in how the outcomes are delivered and met, encouraging true person-centred care.
As shown in the diagram, each of the eight standards focus on a specific aspect of aged care, but Standard 1 – consumer dignity and choice, holds particular importance, as dignity and choice is the central theme for all seven other standards.
Standard 1 – consumer dignity and choice
Consumer outcome: I am treated with dignity and respect, and can maintain my identity. I can make informed choices about my care and services, and live the life I choose.
Organisation expectation: St Vincent’s Care Services has a culture of inclusion and respect for consumers; and supports consumers to exercise choice and independence; and respects consumers’ privacy.
Standard 2 - Ongoing assessment and planning with consumers
Consumer outcome: I am a partner in ongoing assessment and planning that helps me get the care and services I need for my health and wellbeing.
Organisation statement: St Vincent’s Care Services undertakes initial and ongoing assessment and planning for care and services in partnership with the consumer. Assessment and planning has a focus on optimising health and wellbeing in accordance with the consumer’s needs, goals and preferences.
Standard 3 – Personal care and clinical care
Consumer outcome: I get personal care, clinical care or both personal care and clinical care, that is safe and right for me.
Organisation statement: The organisation delivers safe and effective personal care, clinical care, or both personal care and clinical care, in accordance with the consumer’s needs, goals and preferences to optimise health and wellbeing
Standard 4 - Services and supports for daily living
Consumer outcome: I get the services and supports for daily living that are important for my health and wellbeing and that enable me to do the things I want to do.
Organisation statement: St Vincent’s Care Services provides safe and effective services and supports for daily living that optimise the consumer’s independence, health, wellbeing and quality of life.
(Services and supports for daily living include, but are not limited to, food services, domestic assistance, home maintenance, transport and recreational and social activities.)
Standard 5 – Organisation’s service environment
Consumer outcome: I feel I belong and I am safe and comfortable in the organisation’s service environment.
Organisation statement: St Vincent’s Care Services provides a safe and comfortable service environment that promotes the consumer’s independence, function and enjoyment.
(An organisation’s service environment means the physical environment through which care and services are delivered, but does not include an individual’s privately owned or occupied home at which in home services are provided. e.g. A residential aged care facility.)
Standard 6 – Feedback and complaints
Consumer outcome: I feel safe and am encouraged and supported to give feedback and make complaints. I am engaged in processes to address my feedback and complaints, and appropriate action is taken.
Organisation statement: St Vincent’s Care Services regularly seeks input and feedback from consumers, carers, the workforce and others and uses the input and feedback to inform continuous improvements for individual consumers and the whole organisation.
Standard 7 - Human resources
Consumer outcome: I get quality care and services when I need them from people who are knowledgeable, capable and caring.
Organisation statement: St Vincent’s Care Services has a workforce that is sufficient, and is skilled and qualified, to provide safe, respectful and quality care and services.
Standard 8 - Organisational governance
Consumer outcome: I am confident the organisation is well run. I can partner in improving the delivery of care and services.
Organisation statement: St Vincent’s Care Services is accountable for the delivery of safe and quality care and services.
St Vincent’s Care Services is dedicated to our philosophy of continuous improvement, and we have devoted significant resources to develop and implement new policies, tools and education programs, to enhance our existing facilities and services. This is not only in preparation for the implementation of the new Standards, but also to reflect the greater focus on ensuring consumer input and partnership.
New initiatives being implemented at all St Vincent’s Care Services facilities:
- Consumer dignity, choice and respect: outlining how staff should work with residents and clients to ensure their dignity and respect is always upheld, and their ability to make choices maximised
- Dignity of risk: guidelines on how to work with residents and clients to exercise their right to take risks, whilst providing them with all information and safety precautions as possible.
- Open disclosure: actively encouraging feedback from residents and clients and their representatives, and providing outcomes that are satisfactory to the resident/client.
- Anti-microbial stewardship: enhancing our existing effective infection control practices, and the use of antibiotics is minimised to maximise resident and client health.
- Restraint minimisation: ensuring that any use of restraint is risk assessed and done in partnership with the resident/client and their representatives.
- Risk enablement tool: enables staff to work in partnership with consumers to empower them to take risks where they choose, whilst minimising harm. eg. Where a resident chooses not to follow advice from a health professional.
- Care plan consultation: enables us to plan the care and support in partnership with consumer.
- Auditing tools: specifically used to inform if the care and services we provide are to the consumer’s satisfaction and are aligned with the new Standards
- Each facility has received comprehensive education from one of the aged care peak bodies, with a focus on implementing these Standards.
We encourage residents/representatives to discuss these new initiatives and the new Standards with staff, and to work with us to ensure we continuously improve our services. If you have not yet been consulted, please speak to your Facility Manager. Your feedback and input is vital in ensuring the services and care we provide to our residents is of the highest quality and meets the needs and preferences of those who matter most – our residents and clients.
You can find out more information about the new Standards and the Single Aged Care Quality Framework from the Department of Health's Ageing and Aged Care website.