21 December 2022

Aged Care Quality Standards

9 min read

The Aged Care Quality Standards define what good care should look like for people living in residential aged care centers or receiving care and services in their homes. They were developed by the Australian Government in consultation with the aged care sector and came into effect on 1 July 2019.

The eight standards are designed to empower older Australians and ensure all aged care providers deliver high quality care and services. These quality standards are made up of eight unique components, which when working together, help to provide an exceptional level of care for residents and other consumers within the system. Each standard is described from the viewpoint of the consumer, the organisation and the organisational requirements that must be met.

The Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission is responsible for assessing and monitoring government-funded aged care services against the Quality Standards.

Here are the eight standards and what they mean.

1. Consumer dignity and choice

The first standard is foundational and recognises the importance of a consumer’s sense of self. It ensures that aged care consumers are treated with dignity and respect, are able to retain a strong sense of their identity and are able to make informed, autonomous choices whenever possible.

Aged care providers must cultivate and maintain a culture of inclusion and respect, support people to exercise choice and independence and respect people’s privacy. Residents and customers are supported to make decisions about their own care, take risks and exercise choice.

What this means for you: You are treated with dignity and respect and supported to maintain your identity. You can make informed choices about your care and services and live the life you choose.

2. Ongoing assessment and planning

This standard ensures that the consumer is a part of their assessment and planning, so that they can get the best possible services going forward.

Initial and continuous assessment and planning for care and services must be undertaken in close collaboration with the resident or customer. Their needs, goals and preferences should underpin the assessment, planning and provision of care.

What this means for you: You are a partner in ongoing assessment and planning that helps you get the care and services you need for your health and wellbeing.

3. Personal care and clinical care

Standard three helps to provide personal and clinical care that is safe and appropriate for the consumer. This includes services such as bathing, dressing, providing mobility aids, nursing services, activities that promote independence and specialised therapy services.

Providers promise to provide safe and effective personal care, clinical care, or both, in accordance with the resident or customer’s needs, goals, values and preferences. The care and services are best practice to optimise health and wellbeing.

What this means for you: You get personal care, clinical care, or both, that is safe and right for you.

4. Services and support for daily living

This standard ensures that daily living services and supports are provided to consumers, to keep them healthy, happy and in control of their lives. Despite their health challenges, it allows them to keep on achieving their goals, in roles that are meaningful and health-promoting.

Residents and customers are provided with safe and effective services and supports for daily living that supports their independence, health, wellbeing and overall quality of life. This includes food services, domestic assistance, and recreational and social activities.

What this means for you: You get the services and supports for daily living that are important for your health and wellbeing and that enable you to do the things you want to do.

5. Organisations service environment

The purpose of standard five is to make the consumer feel safe and comfortable in the service environment and a sense that they belong there. This mostly applies to the physical environment for the consumer’s care.

An organisations service environment is safe and comfortable and facilitates the resident or customer’s independence, function and enjoyment. The environment is easy to navigate and understand, safe, clean, comfortable, well-maintained and allows people to move freely.

What this means for you: You feel you belong and you’re safe and comfortable with the care you are receiving and the care environment you are in.

6. Feedback and complaints

Standard six is designed to make the consumer feel safe, supported and able to give feedback on their care (including complaints). They are also involved in their feedback and the action that comes out of them.

Aged care providers are committed to listening, seeking and acting on input and feedback from residents, customers, their friends and families, carers and employees. They must have a system in place to resolve complaints that is fair, accessible, prompt and confidential.

What this means for you: You feel safe and you’re encouraged and supported to give feedback and make complaints. You’re engaged in processes to address your feedback and complaints, and appropriate action is taken.

7. Human resources

The seventh standard focuses on providing consumers with quality care and services, from people who are capable and caring. It speaks to the efficiency, qualification and skill of the carers.

Organisations must have a workforce that is sufficient, skilled and qualified to provide effective, safe, respectful and quality care and services. All interactions with residents and customers are kind, caring and respectful of each person’s identity, culture and diversity.

What this means for you: You get quality care and services when you need them from people who are knowledgeable, capable and caring.

8. Organisational governance

The eighth and final standard addresses how well the organisation is run, to give the consumer confidence and feel as though they’re a partner in their own care.

The governing body of the organisation is accountable for the provision of safe and quality care and services. Information management, continuous improvement, financial governance, workforce governance, regulatory compliance and feedback and complaints systems are all in place.

What this means for you: You are confident the organisation is well run. You’re a partner in improving the delivery of care and services.

The Aged Care Quality Standards are critical to ensure that facilities provide the best possible care to their residents. And they’re strictly enforced to make sure this happens, coming into effect from July 2019.

The Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission enforces the standards by monitoring and assessing a facility’s performance against each. This helps to keep the facility accountable, resolve problems and if the infringements aren’t resolved quickly enough, close it down.

For a much more thorough understanding of each standard and their requirements, check out this comprehensive resource from the Australian Government.

At Estia Health we strive to maintain excellent standards of care and you should always feel comfortable to raise any concerns or issues you have if you feel that the standard of care is not what you expect. We will then do our very best to address your concerns. You can also call the Commission on 1800 951 822.

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