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Published: Jun 27, 2019

New legislation introduced to minimise the use of restraints

Amendments have been made to the Quality of Care Principles 2014 to minimise the use of chemical and physical restraints in residential care settings, and to include specific requirements of aged care providers in relation to their use.

Under the amended Principles, a restraint is defined as “any practice, device or action that interferes with a consumer’s ability to make a decision or restricts a consumer’s free movement.”

Where physical or chemical restraints are used, approved providers must meet a number of conditions.

An approved provider must not use any restraint unless:

• the consumer has been appropriately assessed as requiring that restraint;
• alternatives to restraint have been explored;
• informed consent to use restraint has been obtained from the consumer or their representative; and
• relevant documents are maintained to demonstrate these conditions have been met.

Read more:

New legislation introduced to minimise the use of restraints

Quality of Care Amendment (Minimising the Use of Restraints) Principles 2019

Minimising the use of restraints

Self-assessment tool for recording consumers receiving psychotropic medications (.docx)

Published: Jun 27, 2019

Regulatory Bulletin: Responding to non-compliance with the Aged Care Quality Standards

The Commission begins monitoring and assessing provider performance against the Aged Care Quality Standards from 1 July.

The Commission has recently released a new Regulatory Bulletin on their website which explains how they will respond to identified areas for improvement and non-compliance with the new Standards.

The Commission’s response to non-compliance is proportionate to the level of assessed risk and the potential consequences of that risk for consumers.

Read more:

Regulatory Bulletin: Responding to non-compliance with the Aged Care Quality Standards (.pdf)

Published: Jun 27, 2019

ICYMI: Aged Care & Healthcare in the News – 27 June 2019

In Case You Missed It – Below are links to recent articles on Aged Care and Healthcare that may be of interest:

Respite care access on the rise and residential care admissions down

Family Portraits Capture Aged Care Residents In A Favourite Location

Respecting residents’ privacy

“We Recruit For Kindness”

Communication between departments key to long-lasting change

Has RUCS Spelt The End Of Physiotherapy In Aged Care?

Hidden camera captures abuse of resident

Time running out for aged care sector before baby boomers descend

Aged Care Royal Commission hears Japara Healthcare CEO dismiss patient assault numbers

Nurses, physio reveal aged care deficiency

Published: Jun 26, 2019

Perth Hearing: Transcripts and Witness List

The Perth Hearing is currently taking place this week.

Read more:

Perth Hearing: Person-centred care

Transcript – Monday 24 June 2019 (.pdf)

Transcript – Tuesday 25 June 2019 (.pdf)

Transcript – Wednesday 26 June 2019 (.pdf)

To access video recordings of previous public hearings

Published: Jun 25, 2019

Aged Care Video Alert: Voluntary Assisted Dying Update – 25 June 2019

The Voluntary Assisted Dying Act 2017 (VAD) (Vic) (Act) commenced in Victoria on 19 June 2019.

Russell Kennedy have prepared a short video to keep you updated on the information you need to know and be aware of:

• What is VAD and who does it apply to?
• What is the role of aged care providers?
• What do you need to do to prepare?

Watch here:

Voluntary Assisted Dying Victoria – Video Update

Published: Jun 25, 2019

Perth Hearing: Person-centred care

The Perth Hearing is currently taking place this week. The Royal Commission will inquire into:

• how aged-care services can be provided in a way which is person-centred, including care which values the identity, experience and autonomy of the person accessing care and promotes choice and control
• the factors that influence whether aged care services are delivered in a person-centred manner, including:
• the relationships between the person accessing care, people providing support (including family and other members of the community) and the service provider
• broader societal attitudes towards older people
• the perspective and experience of people who access aged care, including the ways in which aged care services are, or are not, person-centred
• good practice care models for providing person-centred aged care
• the role of advance care planning to support the provision of quality aged care services
• the extent to which people accessing aged care services are able to access palliative care
• the quality of palliative care services available to people accessing aged care services

Read more:

Perth Hearing: Person-centred care

Transcripts and Witness List

Published: Jun 25, 2019

Indexation rates for Residential Aged Care and Home Care Packages and changes to the Maximum Permissible Interest Rate (MPIR)

An update of the schedules for residential and home care fees and charges, as well as subsidies and supplements will take effect from 1 July 2019. This is in line with changes to the age pension and indexation rates.

The new rates are now available on the department’s website

The Department of Human Services’ quarterly review of fees and charges for all care recipients will be effective from 1 July 2019. Care recipients and providers will receive letters letting them know if there is a change to a person’s fees and charges or if a refund may be due.

Read more:

Indexation rates for Residential Aged Care and Home Care Packages and changes to the Maximum Permissible Interest Rate (MPIR)

Published: Jun 25, 2019

ICYMI: Aged Care & Healthcare in the News – 25 June 2019

In Case You Missed It – Below are links to recent articles on Aged Care and Healthcare that may be of interest:

‘I had no idea someone could do that’: Hidden cameras reveal shocking secrets

Aged Care Royal Commission hears of almost 300 serious assaults at Japara Healthcare homes

ROYAL COMMISSION: Bad care, poor reporting and lack of dignity

Royal Aged Care Commission: Daughter’s shock as elderly father’s abuse in care home caught on camera

Aged care in regions a ‘death sentence’, as royal commission told of neglect and isolation

Our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander aged care system isn’t “culturally safe”, WA geriatrician tells Royal Commission

Retirement village residents unhappy about complex contracts and fees

Over 45% of aged care facilities in the red, latest StewartBrown reveals

Indigenous people believe aged care isn’t ‘culturally safe’, and ageing earlier

Some older Australians consider residential aged care a ‘death sentence’

ROYAL COMMISSION: Primary care is failing older people, My Aged Care needs fixing

Therapy Horse Stirs Childhood Memories In People Living With Dementia

Flu hits 21,000 people, as NSW hospitals flooded with cases

129,000 Older Australians Without Enough Home Care As Waiting List Grows

Published: Jun 24, 2019

Royal Commission – Darwin and Cairns Hearing

The Royal Commission will hold 2 new public hearings:

Darwin Hearing: 📅 Monday 8 July 2019 to Friday 12 July 2019

Cairns Hearing: 📅 Monday 24 June 2019 to Friday 28 June 2019

The Royal Commission will inquire into:

• aspects of care in residential, home and flexible aged care programs, including:

          • accessibility and availability

          • wound, medication and pain management

          • nutrition and hydration

          • continence care

          • mobility

          • social supports

• access to aged care for veterans

• rural and regional issues for service delivery of aged care

• quality of life for people receiving aged care

Read more:

Hearings

Published: Jun 24, 2019

Webinar: Navigating the new Aged Care Means Assessment Forms

In July 2018, the Australian Government established a taskforce to simplify the aged care means assessment forms and processes.

These forms are now much shorter and simpler. Shortly, there will be a new digital form for people with straightforward financial affairs that is available online.

This webinar will provide an update on how and when to use the new aged care means assessment forms, including:

• Home Care Package Means Assessment Form
• Residential Aged Care Means Assessment Form
• The new Residential Aged Care property details form for Centrelink/DVA customers.

Read more:

Webinar: Navigating the new Aged Care Means Assessment Forms

Link: http://www.wolterskluwer.cch.com.au/aged-care-means-assessment/

Published: Jun 21, 2019

Home Care Packages Program Data Report 3rd Quarter 2018-19

The Minister for Aged Care and Senior Australians, and Minister for Youth and Sport, Senator the Hon Richard Colbeck, has released the Home Care Packages Program Data Report covering the period from 1 January to 31 March 2019.

Read more:

Home Care Packages Program Data Report 3rd Quarter 2018-19

Home care packages program data report 1 January– 31 March 2019 (.pdf)

Published: Jun 21, 2019

Information for Aged Care Providers – Issue 2019/7

In this issue:

• New My Aged Care website launching soon
• New approved provider application forms from 1 July 2019
• Charter of Aged Care Rights online resources available
• Recent Aged Care Quality Reform Webinars now available
• Streamlined Consumer Assessment for Aged Care – discussion paper summary report now available

Home Care:

• Reminder: 1 July 2019 mandatory home care pricing requirements
• Returning unspent Home Care Package funds

Residential Care:

• Macular Disease Foundation Australia Digital training tools

Read more:

Information for Aged Care Providers – Issue 2019/07 (pdf)

Published: Jun 20, 2019

Royal Commission – Advance Care Planning in Australia: Background Paper 5

The Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety released its fifth Background Paper as part of the Royal Commission’s work.
Most older Australians are not set up to direct the way they are cared for in the event they become incapable of communicating as a result of accident, dementia, or illness.

Information available to the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety shows that even those aged 65-plus years are often ill-prepared, with only 3% having a statutory advance care directive in place.

The directives enable people to express how they want to be cared for, and that decisions and actions taken on their behalf are consistent with their goals, preferences and values, if they become incapable of making those decisions themselves.

Research on the uptake, benefits, issues and practices associated with advance care planning directives, as well as various arrangements in each state and territory, are briefly summarised in a background paper, Advance Care Planning in Australia, released today and available on the Royal Commission’s website.

It says: “Advance care planning has been shown to reduce unnecessary transfers from a residential aged care facility to a hospital and decrease a person’s level of worry and anxiety about their future.

Read more:

Advance Care Planning in Australia (.pdf)

Published: Jun 18, 2019

Reduction in home care fees from 1 July 2019

As part of the 2018-19 MYEFO Boosting support for older Australians measure, the Government announced a reduction in basic daily fee, with a greater reduction for those on lower packages.

From 1 July 2019, the maximum basic daily fees for home care will reduce by:

• $400 for level 1
• $200 for level 2
• $100 for level 3

Read more:

Reduction in home care fees from 1 July 2019

Home care fees

Boosting support for older Australians

Published: Jun 14, 2019

Now available – Aged Care Quality Reform Webinar

The recent webinar on key aged care quality reforms being implemented from 1 July 2019 is now available on the department’s website. The webinar included background and live question and answer sessions on the following topics:

• Aged Care Quality Standards
• Clinical Governance Framework
• Open Disclosure Framework
• Single Charter of Aged Care Rights
• Strengthened regulations to minimise the inappropriate use of restraint
• National Quality Indicator Program

Read more:

Now available – Aged Care Quality Reform Webinar

Aged Care Quality Reform Update Live Stream

Published: Jun 11, 2019

ICYMI: Aged Care & Healthcare in the News – 11 June 2019

In Case You Missed It – Below are links to recent articles on Aged Care and Healthcare that may be of interest:

Influenza cases just the ‘tip of the iceberg’, worse than reported figures, researcher says

New Aged Care Regulations Expected To Cause Spike In Non-Compliance

Elderly LGBTQI+ Aged Care Residents Say They’re Being Forced ‘Back Into The Closet’

Certain medication doubles the risk of falls and fractures in elderly

Minimum Wage increase concerns aged care peak body

Collins returns to aged care as Shorten takes on NDIS fight

Published: Jun 6, 2019

Webinar: Aged Care Quality Reform – 6 June 2019

This webinar will update service providers and the assessment workforce on key aged care quality reforms being implemented from 1 July 2019, including:

• Aged Care Quality Standards
• Clinical Governance Framework
• Open Disclosure Framework
• Single Charter of Aged Care Rights
• Strengthened regulations to minimise the inappropriate use of restraint
• National Quality Indicator Program

Participants will have the opportunity to ask questions about these topics to representatives from both the Department of Health and the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission.

Read more:

Webinar: Aged Care Quality Reform – 6 June 2019

http://livestream.education.gov.au/health/6june2019

Published: Jun 3, 2019

Current focus of unannounced assessment contacts

The expected outcomes that are the current focus of unannounced assessment contacts and are most frequently not met across the sector are:

• Expected outcome 1.6 Human resource management
• Expected outcome 1.8 Information systems
• Expected outcome 2.4 Clinical care
• Expected outcome 2.7 Medication management
• Expected outcome 2.8 Pain management
• Expected outcome 2.11 Skin care
• Expected outcome 2.13 Behavioural management
• Expected outcome 3.2 Regulatory compliance
• Expected outcome 3.6 Privacy and dignity
• Expected outcome 4.4 Living environment

NOTE: This information is for the period of July 2018 to October 2018 and is current as at 19 November 2018.

Published: Jun 3, 2019

Commission increases unannounced weekend visits

As was published recently in the ‘Aged Care Quality Bulletin #5, May 2019’ the Commission recently increased the number of ‘unannounced visits’ made to residential aged care services commencing on the weekend and after-hours to assist with the assessment and monitoring of performance within a 24-hour service delivery environment.

This builds on the Commission’s after-hours and weekends monitoring visits that are already in place as a result of escalated concerns, referrals or identified risks.

The extension of the monitoring program supports assessment and monitoring visits in the early hours of the morning, late in the evening, and across weekends.

To determine the focus of any unannounced assessment contact, the assessment team usually interviews the person in charge of the service and asks a series of questions to identify possible areas of risk. These questions are widely promoted, and available to view on the Commission website.

Read more:

Commission increases unannounced weekend visits

Aged Care Quality Bulletin #5, May 2019

Assessment contacts

Published: Jun 3, 2019

Determining the scope of unannounced assessment contacts

The focus of unannounced assessment contacts will be on known areas of risk which may include:

• areas identified from previous assessment activities
• expected outcomes of the standards that are most frequently not met across the sector
• risk based campaigns such as infection control.

The assessment team interviews the person in charge of the service and this includes questions around the key areas of risk that reflect the expected outcomes which are the current focus of unannounced assessment contacts.

Responses to the questions do not need to be exhaustively detailed. However, where necessary, the assessment team may request additional details and documents to verify responses throughout the course of the assessment contact

The response to the questions will inform the scope of the assessment contact.

The following questions will be asked to identify key areas of risk:

1. Have there been any adverse findings by another regulatory agency or oversight body in the last 12 months? (e.g. Healthcare complaints commission or similar, Food safety authority, Workcover etc).
2. What trends do your complaints data show you?
3. How many consumers are receiving pressure area care?
4. Have there been any medication incidents in the past 6 months where a consumer required hospitalisation or attention by a medical officer?
5. How many consumers have had falls and required medical attention in the past 3 months?
6. How many consumers at the service are currently receiving psychotropic medications? (To be captured as a rate or percent of total consumers at the service.) How many consumers are restrained in order to manage risks to themselves or others at the service? (To be captured as a rate or percent of total consumers at the service.)
7. Can you tell me about incidents in the past 6 months where a consumer or staff member has required medical attention as a result of a challenging behaviour from a consumer?

Read more:

Determining the scope of unannounced assessment contacts

Assessment contacts in residential aged care (.pdf)