Review of National Aged Care Quality Regulatory Processes

Page last updated: 30 April 2018

The independent review of the Commonwealth’s aged care quality regulatory processes has been completed.

The Minister for Aged Care, the Hon Ken Wyatt AM, MP released the Review of National Aged Care Quality Regulatory Processes (the Review) report on 25 October 2017 and announced broad support for the direction of the report. The Minister also announced that the Government would move as soon as possible to replace announced re-accreditation audits with unannounced audits in residential aged care services.

From 1 July 2018 all new re-accreditation applications will be subject to unannounced re-accreditation audits. 

On 18 April 2018, Minister Wyatt announced:

  • the establishment of a new independent Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission from 1 January 2019;
  • enhanced risk profiling of aged care providers, to determine the frequency and rigour of visits and to ensure failures are quickly identified and rectified by providers; 
  • the development of options, in consultation with the sector, for a Serious Incident Response Scheme to ensure the right systems are in place to identify an incident and prevent it from occurring again; 
  • the introduction of a performance rating against the quality standards; and
  • the development of a user-friendly provider comparison tool on the My Aged Care Website

Background

The majority of residential aged care facilities provide a high standard of care to older Australians. Commonwealth legislation establishes processes for the regulation of care delivered to all aged care residents and to ensure providers deliver appropriate care which meets expected standards. These include processes dealing with aged care:

  • accreditation
  • monitoring
  • review
  • investigation
  • complaints.

An independent Review of National Aged Care Quality Regulatory Processes was announced in response to the Oakden Report which detailed failures in the quality of care delivered at the Oakden Older Persons Mental Health Service in South Australia.

The Review examined why regulatory processes did not adequately identify the systemic and longstanding failures of care at the Makk and McLeay wards documented in the Oakden Report. The Review identified improvements to the regulatory system that will increase the likelihood of immediate detection, and swift remediation by providers.

Independent Reviewers

The Review was led by Ms Kate Carnell AO, a veteran public administrator and regulator, in conjunction with Professor Ron Paterson ONZM, an international expert on patients’ rights, complaints, health care quality and the regulation of healthcare professions.

Scope of Review

The Review examined and reported on Commonwealth regulatory practices relating to monitoring the quality and standard of care in residential aged care facilities. The Review was not intended to investigate and resolve individual cases – that is the role of the Aged Care Complaints Commissioner. However, individuals’ experiences of care helped identify opportunities to improve Commonwealth regulatory processes.

The Terms of Reference provide further information on the scope of the Review.

Consultation

The public consultation process closed on 24 July 2017 with over 400 submissions received. Approval was given by 323 respondents for their submissions to be published.

The reviewers held three forums with consumers and carers and met with over 40 individual stakeholders including regulators, advocacy groups, service providers, peak bodies and experts across the health and aged care systems.

The reviewers considered all contributions to identify opportunities to improve Commonwealth regulatory processes so that people in residential aged care facilities are safe, well cared for and have a good quality of life.

There was a strong interest in the Review from aged care recipients, their families, health and aged care service providers, regulators and key experts. Thank you to everyone who provided a submission and participated in the consultation activities.

For further information on the Review, email qualityagedcare@health.gov.au

Other resources

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Media releases

1 May 2017   Federal Aged Care Minister to Commission Review of Aged Care Quality Regulatory Processes

11 May 2017  Appointment of Panel to review National Aged Care Quality Regulatory Processes

20 June 2017 Call for submissions for the Review of the National Aged Care Quality Regulatory Processes 

14 August 2017 Aged Care Review Timing Extended

25 October 2017 Quality review released: Aged care assessment visits to be unannounced