Additional Guidance – Care and Services in Aged Care Homes

Page last updated: 30 November 2016

This information was distributed on 14 October 2014

Dear Residential Aged Care Provider

The Quality of Care Principles 2014, incorporating changes to Schedule 1 (Care and Services in Aged Care Homes), came into effect on 1 July 2014.

The Schedule specifies the care and services that residential aged care providers must provide to residential aged care recipients at no additional cost.  The Schedule details the care and services in three parts:

  • Part 1, Hotel services – to be provided for all care recipients who need them.
  • Part 2, Care and services – to be provided for all care recipients who need them.
  • Part 3, Care and services – to be provided for all care recipients who need them – fees may apply.

From 1 July 2014, all permanent residents ceased to be classified as low care or high care residents. Permanent residents will, however, continue to receive an Aged Care Funding Instrument (ACFI) classification as at present and this ACFI classification will determine whether the resident /family or the provider should be billed for the care and services in Part 3 of the Schedule.

The changes to the Schedule respond to recommendations of the National Aged Care Alliance to consolidate and modernise care and services provided in residential aged care.

Consolidation

Changes include consolidating all:

  • specified toiletries into a single Item;
  • specified goods relating to delivering treatments and procedures or administering medicines into a single Item; and
  • references to oxygen therapy into the nursing services Item.

Modernisation

Changes include:

  • deleting outdated requirements to keep stocks of over-the-counter medicines and pharmaceuticals for general distribution. This promotes all pharmaceuticals being distributed only after a health professional’s clinical decision and all pharmaceuticals being recorded on medicine charts, and improves safety and facilitates medicine reviews;
  • updating specified nursing services to better describe the standard clinical decision making process and to explicitly recognise the role of nurse practitioners and enrolled nurses, consistent with these nurse categories being recognised in the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law Act 2009; and
  • minor amendments to delete the reference to dementia as a behavioural disorder, and to delete the reference to providing restrainers as an Item of bedding materials.

All of the care and services in the Schedule are to be provided to both continuing and new residents as needed, and in a way that meets the Accreditation Standards.

To assist approved providers understand their care responsibilities toward residential aged care recipients and to provide guidance on how the Department of Social Services decision makers may apply relevant legislation, additional guidance material has been developed. It can be found on the Department’s website under Care and Services in aged care homes – information for approved providers. You will also be able to access the additional guidance through to the Guide to Aged Care Law.

Donna Moody

Group Manager

Ageing and Aged Care Services

Department of Social Services