Single quality framework: focus on consumers
The Australian Government is committed to high quality care for older Australians and considers the health, safety and welfare of aged care recipients a high priority. As part of reforms to the aged care system, the government is developing an end-to-end, market-based system with the sector where the consumer drives quality. This includes a Single Aged Care Quality Framework (single quality framework) with:
- a single set of quality standards for all aged care services called the Aged Care Quality Standards;
- improved quality assessment arrangements for assessing provider performance against quality standards;
- a single Charter of Aged Care Rights for all aged care recipients; and,
- publication of improved information about quality to help consumers choose aged care and services.
The single quality framework will:
- increase the focus on quality outcomes for consumers;
- recognise the diversity of service providers and consumers;
- better target assessment activities based on risk and reflect best practice regulation.
- and relect best practice regulation.
From 1 July 2019, the Aged Care Quality Standards apply to all Australian Government funded aged care services including residential care, home care, flexible care and services under the Commonwealth Home Support Programme.
The department will progress this work under the 2018-19 Budget ‘Better Quality of Care’ measures.
From 1 July 2019, the Charter of Aged Care Rights (Charter) applies to all consumers, regardless of the type of Australian Government funded aged care and services they receive.
The Charter applies to consumers once they start receiving Australian Government funded aged care, including:
- residential care;
- home care packages;
- flexible care;
- services provided under the Commonwealth Home Support Programme; and,
- the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Flexible Aged Care Program.
Information on the quality of both residential and community aged care services helps consumers to make informed decisions about their care and services.
Aged care service quality information available on the My Aged Care website to support consumer choice includes:
- improvements to the home care packages service finder, enabling providers to advertise detailed information about their costs and the addition of search fields such as: religion, language, special needs and specialised services;
- a ‘Non-Compliance Checker’ to allow consumers to more easily search for current and archived compliance action taken against residential services and home care package providers;
- information about how to find quality services, questions to ask providers when choosing an aged care home, and how consumers’ rights are protected;
- information about a residential aged care service’s accreditation status with improved links to the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission’s accreditation audit reports and consumer experience reports, where available;
- an icon in the ‘Find a provider tool’ identifying a provider’s participation in the National Aged Care Mandatory Quality Indicator Program for residential aged care providers; and
- updates which aim to make it easier for consumers to find relevant information about complaints, advocacy and quality.
The department is considering further opportunities for enhancing quality information for consumers in light of the Review of National Aged Care Quality Regulatory Processes.
In September to October 2018, public consultation was conducted on a single Charter of Aged Care Rights. The outcome of the consultation is summarised in the Report on the outcome of consultations on the draft Charter of Aged Care Rights.
In March to April 2017, public consultation was conducted on two parts of the single quality framework– the draft Aged Care Quality Standards and options for assessing performance against the Aged Care Quality Standards.
The feedback from public consultation and subsequent consultations with key stakeholders informed the Aged Care Quality Standards and is summarised in the Report on the outcome of Consultations on the Single Quality Framework.