Commitment to Care
Our residential aged care facilities are more than just a home for our residents, they are high quality havens of care. As part of one of Australia's leading Catholic health and aged care providers, St Vincent's Care Services is committed to continuing a legacy of compassionate care and support that spans more than 175 years.
On admission, each resident is provided with a comprehensive and holistic care and support plan, that reflects each resident's needs and preferences - from clinical care requirements to your likes and dislikes when it comes to food, leisure and lifestyle. Your care and support plan is regularly reviewed and adjusted through assessments and ongoing consultations with you and your family/representatives, to keep your care and support relevant and up to date.
Our expert staff include Registered Nurses and Nurse Practitioners, supported by care staff who deliver expert clinical care for a range of needs and conditions. Our nursing care team works with you and your medical practitioners to ensure your care in your new home is appropriate for your needs. Our electronic medical record system, called Autumncare, offers the highest level of information transparency and information security for residents care plans and requirements, and allows staff to adapt care delivery as necessary and appropriate for changing needs. Clinical staff work with leisure and lifestyle staff, pastoral care staff, catering staff, and allied health professionals to ensure all needs of each resident are met, for positive wellbeing and quality of life.
In addition to onsite care and support, as part of St Vincent’s Health Australia, our residents and clients have access to an extensive, world-class health network, including affiliated hospitals in Brisbane, Melbourne, Sydney and Toowoomba.
Commitment to Quality
St Vincent’s Care Services (SVCS) participates in an internationally recognised evaluation process to assess the quality of care and services provided against the aged care accreditation standards endorsed by the Australian Government’s Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission . Each of our facilities has successfully undergone the accreditation process, with their accreditation status displayed in the main foyer of each facility, and are subject to unannounced audits by the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission to ensure quality standards are upheld. St Vincent's Care Services is committed to the provision of quality care and services in an effective, professional manner to all residents, relatives and staff, and has a comprehensive internal quality and clinical governance structure which focusses on assessment and continuous improvement across all our facilities and systems.
St Vincent's Care Services quality objectives:
- We are committed to the provision of a quality system which will satisfy the requirements of the Australian Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission
- We provide professional, quality care to all our residents which is individualised to assist residents to maintain their independence for as long as possible
- We ensure a secure and safe environment to all residents, relatives and staff
- We provide ongoing education and learning opportunities for staff to enable continuous professional development.
How to provide feedback
St Vincent's Care Services actively encourages and welcomes feedback from residents, families and staff to support a culture of continuous improvement and excellence.
Generally, feedback is invited through regular surveys, meetings and informal discussions, and feedback forms are provided at each facility's reception or administration office. All feedback about a facility or service is reviewed by the relevant Facility Manager or Care Co-ordinator, who will work with you to resolve any issues raised. Where relevant and appropriate, feedback may be escalated to the relevant state General Manager in order to facilitate an appropriate and satisfactory resolution. Should further action be required, St Vincent's Care Services may work with relevant government departments and external services to ensure a satisfactory resolution.
The Australian Government’s Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission provides a free service for anyone wishing to raise their concerns about the quality of care or services being delivered to people receiving aged care services at a government-funded facility.
Open disclosure is a process for ensuring that open, honest, empathetic and timely discussions occur between residents/representatives and St Vincent's Care Services staff after a safety incident or in response to feedback. Open disclosure begins with the identification of feedback or an incident and concludes when the resident/representative indicate they are satisfied that no further discussions are needed, or when they are provided with avenues to address any ongoing concerns. It supports valuable continuous improvement systems through the prevention of recurrence of incidents and is an integral part of incident and complaint management across SVCS.
The five essential elements of open disclosure are:
- An apology and/or acknowledgement of the problem
- A factual explanation of what happened
- An opportunity for the person to relate their experience
- An explanation of the steps being taken to manage the event and prevent recurrence
Open disclosure may involve one discussion or may continue over a series of meetings. The objective of open disclosure is to provide factual information with sensitivity and empathy.
Leisure and Lifestyle
At St Vincent’s Care Services, our leisure and lifestyle program is a key part of our holistic approach to ensuring a high quality of life for all our residents and clients, whether they are in our residential aged care facilities, independent living villages, or receive community living support in their own home. Our goal is to provide activities and programs that aim to ensure residents and clients feel connected, happy, content and fulfilled in their everyday lives, with activities that are interactive, individualised and stimulating.
Our ACTION program is a key component of our Wellbeing and Lifestyle model, targeting seven priority areas: Stewardship, Physical, Environmental, Intellectual, Social and Cultural, Emotional, and Spiritual.
The activities in the ACTION program are extensive and diverse, and include:
Art therapy - art and painting classes | BBQ and resident/family dinners | Beauty therapy | Birthday celebrations
Book clubs | Bus trips | Church services | Concerts and entertainment | Cooking | Craft, knitting and sewing groups
Exercise programs - tai chi, chair yoga, walking groups, bowls | Games - bingo, board games, quizzes | Happy hour drinks
Memory books and reminiscing | Men’s Groups | Multicultural days | Music - choirs, instrument classes, 'Golden Oldies' radio
Pet therapy | School visits | Seasonal celebrations | Shopping trips | Sporting events - Melbourne Cup, football finals
Residents work with staff to select activities and events that match their interests and goals, giving residents the opportunity to be the creators of their own lifestyle program
Our leisure and lifestyle team is skilled and committed to ensuring our residents’ interests are a priority. A tailored leisure and lifestyle program is developed to ensure the residents’ preferences are known to the team and in turn develop activities that enhance control and self-esteem.
The program is designed to be interactive, in order to encourage fun, laughter, stimulation and enrichment for the residents. However, we recognise not everyone always wants to participate in group activities, so we also have a range of activities which a resident could complete on their own.
The activities program creates opportunities for interactions, resulting in feelings of optimism and enjoyment by the residents.
The leisure and lifestyle program works towards providing residents with opportunities to develop new skills, while interacting with their fellow residents, family members, staff and volunteers.
Pastoral care is an important part of our holistic approach to care and support, with our pastoral care team providing spiritual and emotional support, and a sensitive, caring presence for all.
While it is our Catholic heritage that drives this commitment, we respect and support all beliefs, religious traditions and cultures.
At St Vincent’s Care Services, we believe our dedication to holistic, inclusive pastoral care sets us apart from other aged care providers. Our program encompasses spiritual and emotional support services and is available to all residents, regardless of religious, cultural or ethnic background, philosophy of life, or faith tradition.
Pastoral care is a ministry of presence. It does not seek to preach or convert; it is here to support you and your family on the journey ahead. We understand the decision to move into residential aged care can be a difficult one, for all involved, so we take the time to get to know you, and work with you to provide support services in keeping with your needs and beliefs.
The activities and programs we provide through pastoral care help our residents continue to live meaningful lives, and feel respected within the community. Our residents believe having access to pastoral care is a major contributor to feeling happy, content and fulfilled.
End of life care
Our approach to end-of-life and palliative care is underpinned by a commitment to dignity and respect. We liaise with doctors, specialists and palliative care nurses to provide the most appropriate care to the resident, and do more than treat physical symptoms and pain to improve quality of life; we provide complete support to help you and your family cope during this difficult time.
Palliation is an important topic to understand and discuss with your family early, so we can provide the best quality of life and comfort and help families to prepare for the process, if and when it is required. Having a full understanding of the palliation process, what is involved in palliative care, and the changes that occur towards end of life is very important, and being prepared often assists with feelings of grief and loss.
The principles around end-of-life and palliative care and what we are able to provide is discussed with residents during the admission process, and in further detail if and when a need for palliation is identified. It is a discussion involving you, your family, external medical specialists, our clinical team, and other staff including pastoral carers, to ensure your wishes are respected in the process.
Part of the discussion will be the options of transferring to hospital or staying at the facility. We will work with the desires and wishes of you and your family, and will provide information to assist your decision. Our focus is on supporting you to live the life you want.
St Vincent’s Care Services’ Victorian facilities and services do not provide nor facilitate Voluntary Assisted Dying as per the state’s Voluntary Assisted Dying Act (2017). St Vincent’s Care Services does not consider the prescription of a lethal substance to assist a person to end their own life, nor the administration of a lethal substance to a person by a health practitioner to end their life, as being part of end of life care. However, we respond respectfully and compassionately to any questions from our residents, clients and their loved ones about Voluntary Assisted Dying. Our policies contain detailed guidance for our staff which respects the wishes of our residents and clients, whilst ensuring our actions are consistent with our ethical commitments.
If you have questions about end of life and palliative care, we encourage you to speak to your facility’s Clinical Manager, Facility Manager, or Community Care Co-ordinator.