New legislation passed in Aged Care

Last week the government introduced two new aged care bills to the House of Representatives, which together respond to a number of recommendations from the Aged Care Royal Commission’s final report.  

Royal Commission Response Bill

Just a week later, the first bill, the Aged Care and Other Legislation Amendment (Royal Commission Response) Bill 2022, has now passed through both houses. Some of the key changes that this bill introduces include:

  • Introducing the new AN-ACC funding model which will replace the existing ACFI model.
  • A Code of Conduct that will apply to approved providers, their aged care workers and governing bodies. It will be based on the NDIS Code of Conduct and will be implemented from 1 December 2022.
  • Extending the Serious Incident Reporting Scheme (SIRS) to include home care by 1 December 2022.
  • From 1 December 2022 there will be new governance responsibilities around suitability requirements for key personnel and other requirements including:
    • The requirement to notify the Commission of changes to key personnel or changes to the suitability of key personnel;
    • At least every 12 months the provider must consider the suitability of all key personnel and be reasonably satisfied that they are suitable to be involved in the provision of aged care;
    • The provider must ensure that a majority of the members of the governing body are independent non-executive members, and at least one member of the governing body has experience in the provision of clinical care. (This does not apply if the governing body has fewer than 5 members or provides aged care service to less than 40 recipients, or is an Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisation).
    • Providers must establish a quality care advisory body that:
      • Complies with the requirements specified in the Accountability Principles; and
      • Gives the governing body a written report about the quality of care being delivered at least once every 6 months.
    • The governing body must respond in writing to those reports and other feedback from the advisory body.
  • Changes to restrictive practices arrangements to address unintended outcomes due to the interaction with state and territory guardianship and consent laws.
  • A requirement for the Department of Health and Aged Care to publish information about the quality of aged care provided through an aged care service, and the performance of the approved provider in relation to responsibilities and standards under the Aged Care Act by the end of 2022.

Implementing Care Reform Bill

The second bill, the Aged Care Amendment (Implementing Care Reform) Bill 2022, has been referred to the Senate Community Affairs Legislation Committee, with an expected report date of 31 August 2022, and includes:

  • mandatory requirements for there to be a registered nurse on site 24 hours a day at all residential aged care facilities starting from 1 July 2023;
  • caps on home care charges from 1 January 2023; and
  • improvements to transparency of information from 1 December 2022.

Stay in the loop

Providers are encouraged to stay across these changes as a number of the reforms are expected to come into place soon, with many being implemented before the end of the year. We will keep you updated!

Want to stay across the latest updates?

A closer look at the National Quality Framework

The National Quality Framework is a national approach to regulation and quality improvement in early childhood education and care, and outside school hours care services across Australia. The National Quality Framework applies to most childcare providers and services, including centre-based day care, family day care, outside school hours care, and preschool and kindergarten.

The National Quality Framework is made up of the:

  • National Law and Regulations;
  • National Quality Standard; and
  • National Approved Learning Frameworks. 

The National Law and Regulations

The National Law and Regulations outline the legal obligations for providers and explain the functions of the state and territory regulatory authorities. They include things like requirements for staff qualifications and requirements for the number of staff working in services with children.

We have a self-assessment in SPP for the National Law and Regulations which ensures providers are aware of, and monitoring their compliance with, the sections and regulations of the National Law and National Regulations that are most relevant to each of the seven Quality Areas of the National Quality Standard.

The National Quality Standard

The National Quality Standard includes seven quality areas that form the basis of ratings and assessment. Services are assessed and rated against the seven quality areas:

  1. Educational program and practice
  2. Children’s health and safety
  3. Physical environment
  4. Staffing arrangements
  5. Relationships with children
  6. Collaborative partnerships with families and communities
  7. Governance and leadership

We also have modules in SPP for the National Quality Standard, including a stand-alone module which we developed in consultation with a provider of early childhood education and outside school hours care. Our module closely aligns with ACECQA’s self-assessment tool, and allows providers to track each requirement of the National Quality Standard, and make qualitative comments throughout.

The National Approved Learning Frameworks

Under the National Law and Regulations, services are required to base their educational program on one of the approved learning frameworks. There are two nationally approved learning frameworks:

  • Belonging, Being and Becoming: The Early Years Learning Framework for Australia; and
  • My Time, Our Place: Framework for School Age Care in Australia.

Self-assessments for both approved learning frameworks are available in SPP.

Update of the National Approved Learning Frameworks

Both frameworks are currently undergoing a consultation and review process, to ensure that they reflect contemporary developments in practice and knowledge. The review commenced in April 2021 and is being delivered over three stages.

Stages one and two have already been completed and included a literature review, surveys and stakeholder feedback. Some areas for improvement that came out of the discussion papers included strengthening Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspectives throughout the framework, strengthening the principle of ongoing learning, introducing a new sustainability principle and strengthening partnerships to include other professionals. 

Stage three, which is currently underway, involves practitioners piloting the potential updates in their services. We are monitoring this review process and we will update our existing modules in SPP when the updated Standards are finalised. For more information on the updates, you can refer to ACECQA’s website or the Approved Learning Frameworks update website.

Want to access our self-assessments for the National Quality Framework?

NASASV’s National Standards now live in SPP

The National Association of Services Against Sexual Violence (NASASV) is the peak body for specialist organisations who provide prevention and response services to people who are at risk of, or experience, sexual violence in Australia.

NASASV is committed to “addressing inequalities in society which perpetrate sexual violence whilst working collaboratively with service systems and communities to ensure that prevalence rates of sexual assault reduce”. NASASV’s vision is “to eliminate sexual violence and have a society free of all forms of oppression.”

In 2020-21, NASASV was engaged by the Commonwealth Department of Social Services to develop the third edition of the National Standards of Practice Manual for Services against Sexual Violence (the National Standards). The Third Edition supersedes the second, which was produced by NASASV in 2015.

About the specialist sexual violence sector

The National Standards apply to organisations that provide specialist sexual violence services. Working with victim-survivors of sexual violence requires complex and specialised knowledge and experience. Many victim-survivors have experienced multiple forms of abuse or multiple instances of abuse.

There is increasing understanding that the effect of multiple instances of abuse on an individual is cumulative, leading to victim-survivors often facing a range of physical and mental health difficulties. Specialist sexual violence services require knowledge of a range of associated issues, services and systems, some of which include:

  • mental health;
  • alcohol and other drugs;
  • domestic and family violence;
  • sexual health;
  • legal systems, particularly criminal and family law;
  • child protection;
  • relationship issues;
  • social security; and
  • homelessness and housing.

Structure of the Standards

The ten standards in the previous version have been condensed into seven standards in the Third Edition:

  • Valuing access for all clients;
  • Valuing client experience at the service;
  • Valuing sound clinical interventions;
  • Valuing advocacy, collaboration and community engagement;
  • Valuing staff;
  • Valuing a stable organisation, good governance and effective systems; and
  • Valuing innovation and quality improvement.

Each standard sets out the indicators of what needs to be in place for organisations to be “Meeting National Standards”, as well as additional indicators that demonstrate “Exceeding National Standards”.

All specialist sexual violence services should be meeting the National Standards, and organisations that want to work towards best practice can aim to exceed the National Standards. Responsibility for meeting each standard involves the organisation, as well as all staff, including clinical and counselling staff.

Each standard provides significant detail and context for the indicators that are required to demonstrate meeting and exceeding the standard.

Self-assessment now live in SPP!

We have developed seven self-assessments in SPP for NASASV’s National Standards, one for each standard. The seven self-assessments provide ease of management when following the National Standards, and allow you to provide qualitative comments about how you are meeting each standard at a more detailed level.

To take a closer look at the new self-assessments for the National Standards, log in to SPP.  

Want to access NASASV's National Standards?

Lessons from the pandemic: how Standards have evolved

We’re now two years into the pandemic, and the care and support sector has had to make some major adjustments to their service delivery in response to the COVID-19 crisis.

A number of standards have been amended or updated with significant new changes, to provide guidance on improving and standardising infection control processes, as well as ensuring that there are processes to manage workforce capacity and disaster readiness.

We’ve updated our self-assessments in SPP to reflect these changes, and thought it would be helpful to summarise the core themes that have emerged across the different major standards.  

Core infection control and disaster response themes

The core themes that have appeared consistently in standards updates include:

  • ensuring the workforce has the capacity, skills, training and equipment to implement infection prevention and control systems,
  • planning for and sourcing an alternative workforce in the event of disruptions,
  • developing, testing and reviewing an emergency and disaster management plan,
  • reporting to the governing body on infection control processes and implementation/testing of the emergency and disaster management plan,
  • testing, fitting and training in the use of PPE,
  • training in hand hygiene, respiratory hygiene and cough etiquette,
  • implementing stringent processes for communicating relevant information to family, patients and carers,
  • undertaking routine environmental cleaning,
  • ensuring workplace policies and procedures are in line with the relevant state or territory public health requirements,
  • managing movement of staff between areas and supporting staff required to isolate, and
  • procedures for waste management including safe storage and disposal of clinical waste.

These are some key areas that service providers should be addressing to ensure they are on top of their compliance requirements. Providers should check that they are familiar with any updates to standards that apply to their organisation. SPP can assist you with this, as we always update the modules on our platform in response to changes to standards.

Here are the main standards that have been updated to incorporate infection control requirements so far:

The updated Standards

National Safety and Quality Health Service Standards (NSQHS)

Changes to the NSQHS were introduced in May 2021 and include requirements to:

  • plan for public health and pandemic risks,
  • ensure the workforce has the capacity, skills, training and equipment to implement infection prevention and control systems,
  • test, fit, train workers and use PPE, and
  • ensure policies and procedures are in line with the relevant state or territory public health requirements.

NDIS Practice Standards

In November 2021 the NDIS Commission released a number of changes to these standards, to address:

  • planning for alternative workforce arrangements in the event of disruptions,
  • developing, testing, and reviewing emergency and disaster management plans,
  • implementing infection prevention and control precautions throughout all settings,
  • ongoing training on and supplies of PPE for workers, and
  • waste management including safe disposal of clinical waste.

QIC Health and Community Service Standards

In February this year, an updated version of the QIC Standards was released, with updates addressing infection control requirements including:

  • staff training in hand hygiene,
  • infection prevention management program aligning with state and territory guidelines,
  • regular cleaning of the environment, and
  • waste management.

Australian Community Industry Standard

The Australian Community Industry Standard was also updated towards the end of last year to include the following infection prevention and control requirements:

  • workplace preparation for pandemic,
  • workforce response to pandemic consistent with advice from health authorities, and
  • implementing and documenting an outbreak management plan.

RACGP Standards for General Practitioners

The RACGP Standards have seen a number of updates throughout 2021 and more recently in 2022, with the most recent update being in February 2022. The updated requirements address:

  • increased requirements around telehealth consultations (e.g. ensuring privacy etc.),
  • managing the risk of cross infection during a home visit,
  • updated processes for isolating patients and traceability processes for identifying patients who have used instruments,
  • establishing protocols for managing outbreaks of infectious disease in line with local, state and national guidance, and
  • environmental cleaning.

Aged Care Quality Standards

While the Aged Care Quality Standards haven’t been updated with new infection control requirements, the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission has released a number of resources to guide providers in their implementation of infection control requirements. 

Resources to help you

We’ve developed and updated a number of resources in our platform to assist providers to manage infection control requirements under the standards that apply to them, as well as implement best practice processes. Here are some examples of how we can help:

  • a module for the “First 24 hours – managing COVID-19 in a residential aged care facility”,
  • a module to guide organisations to implement COVID-safe operations based on recommendations from Safe Work Australia,
  • a module to guide organisations through the components they should address in developing infection control / respiratory outbreak plan based on recommendations from various sources including the Department of Health, the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission, and the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission,
  • resource templates including:
    • an outbreak management plan checklist,
    • an information sheet for employers on staff vaccination against COVID-19,
    • first 24 hours – managing COVID-19 in a Residential Aged Care facility checklist,
    • an emergency and disaster management plan,
    • emergency and disaster management procedures,
    • working from home policy,
    • working from home agreement,
    • client risk assessment.

Want to take a closer look at our Covid-19 resources?

An update on the Child Safe Standards in Victoria

In March this year, we wrote a blog post which looked at where each state or territory was at with their implementation of the Child Safe Standards. Since then, there have been significant updates in Victoria. Last month, the Commission for Children and Young People in Victoria (the Commission) released the new Child Safe Standards, which aim to “provide more clarity for organisations and are more consistent with Standards in the rest of Australia”.

Do the new Standards apply to my organisation?

To find out if your organisation has to comply with the Child Safe Standards in Victoria, click here. And if you have additional questions around the new Victorian Child Safe Standards, their frequently asked questions page is a good place to start!

When do the new Standards commence?

The Standards will come into effect in Victoria on the 1st of July 2022. The Commission has recommended that organisations start thinking about meeting the new Standards and review their current approach to child safety, to plan what they need to do to comply with the new Standards.

The Commission has said that if organisations choose to meet the Standards before the 1st of July 2022, they will be accepted as compliant by the Commission.

How do the new Standards differ from the National Principles?

The Victorian Child Safe Standards closely align with the National Principles for Child Safe Organisations (the National Principles).  However, there is one additional Standard (Standard 1) on cultural safety for Aboriginal children and young people, and two additional indicators in Standard 3 around empowering children and young people. Given that the Victorian Standards differ slightly from the National Principles, some organisations who work nationally or across state borders will need to comply with both sets of Standards.  

How can SPP help me to meet the new Standards?

The good news is that SPP can assist Victorian providers to meet not just the Victorian Child Safe Standards but also Child Safe Standards across other jurisdictions. Last month, following the release of the Victorian Child Safe Standards, we added a self-assessment into the platform to assist providers to meet their new requirements. We have previously added self-assessments into SPP for both the NSW Child Safe Standards and the National Principles.

Our new Victorian Child Safe self-assessment is cross-mapped to other child safe standards on our platform, meaning that your answers will carry across from one set of standards to another, where there are common or duplicated requirements. So, if you self-assess against the Victorian Child Safe Standards, you will simultaneously be making progress against the National Principles and the NSW Child Safe Standards.

The self-assessment will assist organisations to identify any gaps or areas for quality improvement.  It also provides a range of child safe templates that providers can download and tailor to their needs.  

You can find the new self-assessment for the Victorian Child Safe Standards under the Standards tab > Australian National Standards.

Want to learn more?

For more information about the child safe self-assessments and resources on our platform, sign up for a free trial!

Royal Commission Series: the Government’s response

On the 11th of May, the Australian Government published its response to the final report of the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety. The government accepted 126 of the 148 recommendations and rejected six of the recommendations, including the independent aged care commission model.

We’ve looked at a number of the key recommendations throughout this series and we will now provide an overview of the government’s response to those recommendations.

Dementia and palliative care - Recommendation 80: Accepted

The government has flagged dementia and palliative care as something that it will begin to address immediately. Starting this year, the government will target improvements to the quality of dementia care, including increased support when a person is first diagnosed, improved connection between services and an increase in the number of care minutes provided to people in residential aged care. Some of the government’s targeted funding includes:

  • $7.3 million to build dementia care capacity in residential aged care;
  • $67.5 million for the Dementia Behaviour Management Advisory Service and the Severe Behaviour Response Teams to reduce use of restraints; and
  • dementia training for an additional 1000 GPs and GP registrars per year.

The government’s review of the Aged Care Quality Standards will consider regulations that require:

  • providers to ensure that staff are appropriately trained in dementia and palliative care; and
  • that the Certificate III in Individual Support include units of study on dementia and palliative care.

For more information, see aged care – reforms to support people living with dementia and their carers.

Our previous blog post on dementia and palliative care outlines Recommendation 80.

Culturally safe service delivery – Recommendations 30 and 21: Accepted

The government has highlighted a number of initiatives targeting improved outcomes for the culturally safe delivery of services, including:

  • by 2023, the establishment of a network of 500 local Community Care Finders to engage with vulnerable Australians and provide face-to-face assistance to help them access aged care and other health and social supports;
  • increased funding for translating and interpreting services for diverse older Australians; and
  • the introduction of a specialisations verification framework and audit process by June 2022, to ensure that providers have demonstrated their capability to provide specialised services for people with diverse backgrounds.

We expect the government will consider the priority issues contained in recommendation 21, including potentially making mandatory the Aged Care Diversity Framework and underlying Action Plans, as part of their review of the Aged Care Quality Standards, to be completed by December 2022. 

For more information see: aged care – reforms to support people from diverse backgrounds

Our previous blog post on culturally safe delivery outlines Recommendation 30 and 21.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander aged care – Recommendations 47, 48, 49, 50, 51: Accepted

The government will immediately begin addressing these recommendations, with the 2021-22 budget investing in targeted measures to improve the experience of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in aged care. In 2022, the government aims to establish a new workforce of 250 Indigenous people to provide face-to-face support for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to navigate and access care. Other reforms include upgrading existing buildings and constructing purpose-built residential facilities to connect people with communities on Country, improved access to translation and interpreting services and assistance to Indigenous organisations with governance, business training and leadership.

For more information see: aged care – reforms to support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and governance – more equitable access to aged care for First Nations people and special needs groups

Our previous blog post on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander care outlines Recommendations 47, 48, 49, 50 and 51.

Protection for whistleblowers – Recommendation 99: Accepted

The government has accepted this recommendation and referenced the new Aged Care Legislation Amendment (Serious Incident Response Scheme and Other Measures) Act 2021  which creates protections for providers, staff members, volunteers, family members, carers or representatives who make disclosures of information relating to reportable incidents. These changes came into effect on 1 April 2021.

Our previous blog post on whistleblowers outlines Recommendation 99.

New governance standard – Recommendation 90: Accepted

The government has outlined that it will introduce measures to strengthen the accountability of aged care providers including:

  • new governance obligations from 2022 requiring improvements to the composition and accountability of aged care boards;
  • a review of the Aged Care Quality Standards, focusing on areas of governance, dementia and food and nutrition (scheduled to be introduced in 2023); and
  • the appointment of an assistant commissioner for Sector Capability and Education to the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission.

For more info see: governance – strengthening provider governance and governance – a new Aged Care Act

Our previous blog post on a new governance standard outlines Recommendation 90.

Restraints – Recommendations 17 and 65: Accepted

The government has indicated that strengthened legislative provisions to regulate restraints will commence from 1 July 2021. This will include clearer regulations on the use of restraint, clearer definitions of restraint and ensuring that restraint is only used as a last resort following deployment of alternative behaviour management strategies. The government has also indicated that it will appoint a Senior Practitioner to the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission to lead education of aged care providers and General Practitioners in the use of restraints.

Additionally the government highlighted that the ACQSC, the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care and the NDIS Quality and Safeguarding Commission are collaborating to align regulatory approaches to the use of restraints.

Our previous blog post on restraints outlines Recommendations 17 and 65.

Other areas of significance

Serious Incident Response Scheme (SIRS)

The government has outlined that $14 million will be spent on expanding the SIRS from residential aged care into home and community care from 1 July 2022. The government has also highlighted that dementia specialists will provide further training to representatives from all aged care providers on preventing the use of restraint.

Mandatory care time standards and reporting

From July 2021, providers will be required to report on care staffing minutes at the facility level as part of their annual reporting. From July 2022, providers will also be required to provide a monthly care statement to residents, outlining the care they have received and any significant changes. From December 2022, this information will inform a staffing star rating allowing clients to compare staffing levels between homes. The government is forecasting that by October 2023, providers will be required to meet a mandatory care time standard of 200 minutes per day for each resident.

Expanding the National Mandatory Quality Indicator Program

By July 2021, two new quality indicators relating to falls and fractures and medication management will be introduced alongside the existing domains of pressure injuries, physical restraint and unplanned weight loss. Additional quality indicators including indicators around quality of life in residential aged care and home care will be introduced by the end of 2022.

Subject to further consideration…

The news of the $18 billion to be invested in the aged care system has been welcomed by the sector, however there remain some significant areas that have been flagged by the government as subject to further consideration, or that have not been addressed in the government’s response:

  • the recommendation to increase supports to older people with disability to the equivalent level as a participant under the NDIS would receive;
  • a mandatory minimum qualification for personal care workers; and
  • the recommendation that by July 2024 the minimum staff standard should require at least one registered nurse on site at a residential aged care facility at all times.

It seems that the government will take a more moderate pathway to addressing these issues, or that it will consider the issues further before deciding to act.

We will be monitoring the changes closely and will be developing resources and tools to assist providers to meet any additional obligations under the changes.

Make sure to get in touch if you have any requests around resources, templates or self-assessments to assist you to meet your requirements. 

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You can access all of our aged care resources in the SPP platform. 

Regulated restrictive practices for children and young people

The NDIS Commission recently released a practice guide around restrictive practices for children and young people with disability. The guide is based on the requirements in the National Disability Insurance Scheme (Restrictive Practices and Behaviour Support) Rules 2018. The guide does not constitute any new requirements, rather it aims to clarify information about restrictive practices by guiding organisations through scenarios relating to children and restrictive practices. The guide outlines the obligations of providers under the NDIS Commission, as well as some good practice next steps.

The Commission highlights that approximately 48% of all NDIS participants are children. Despite this, children and young people are currently under-represented in the data reported to the Commission in relation to the use of restrictive practices. The Commission fears that the number of behaviour support plans lodged for children and young people is “not an accurate reflection of current practice in the sector” and that, instead, the use of restrictive practices with children is being overlooked, ignored or minimised.

The guide reinforces that providers who are supporting children both with and without a disability must have an understanding of the National Principles for Child Safe Organisations, and must be aware of their responsibilities in relation to child protection reporting. Refer to our previous blog post to see an overview of the National Principles as well as the child safe requirements for providers in each state or territory.  

Case-by-case basis

The guide highlights that the use of restrictive practices on a child or young person must be assessed on a case-by-case basis. Claiming “duty of care” doesn’t automatically omit a practice from being considered a restrictive practice. It is important to consider the context in which the practice is being used. Each case must be assessed to ensure that it is the least restrictive practice possible, and is proportionate to the potential risk of harm.

The Commission provides a tool to guide decision making around what constitutes a regulated restrictive practice for children and young people. 

Child-proofing

Child safety and injury prevention practices are essential to keeping children safe. These practices are referred to as “child-proofing”. Most of these child-proofing techniques are reasonable measures to ensure the safety of children. Crucial to these being reasonable is that they are age appropriate, in line with community standards and used irrespective of whether or not the child has a disability. If this is the case, these behaviours are generally not considered a restrictive practice and do not require reporting to the Commission. The need for these child-proofing techniques however, decreases with age, in accordance with the dignity of risk principle. Continuing to implement these practices with older children and young people may constitute a restrictive practice.

The guide provides a number of examples to outline when a child-proofing technique becomes a restrictive practice, some of which include:

Not a Restrictive Practice

  • Using a child gate to prevent a toddler from accessing the kitchen while the stove/oven is in use
  • Holding a child’s hand while crossing the road

Regulated Restrictive Practice

  • Using a child gate to prevent a young person from accessing the kitchen at all times (environmental restraint)
  • Using a two-person escort to prevent a young person’s movement during an outing (physical restraint)

Things to consider...

When a regulated restrictive practice is necessary, the NDIS Rules require registered providers to take all reasonable steps to consult with the child or young person. This must occur in an accessible format and ensuring that due consideration is given to the young person’s views. The provider should reflect on the following questions:

  • Is it the least restrictive option available?
  • Is it proportionate to the potential risk of harm?
  • Is the support being provided within a positive behaviour support framework which promotes the child’s development and their right to take reasonable risks?
  • Is it being used for the shortest time possible?
  • Is there a clear plan for reducing and eliminating the restrictive practice over time?

Restrictive practices and parenting practices

Towards the end of the guide, there is some helpful advice for support workers delivering support within a family home where the family uses restrictive practices. The resource emphasises that it is a support worker’s job to educate families around what constitutes a restrictive practice and its associated risks. In some circumstances, families may unintentionally use high-risk strategies in the absence of all relevant information and when they lack adequate support. Behaviour support practitioners play a role in educating parents and identifying less restrictive alternatives.

The guide also provides an outline (on page 22) of the reporting requirements in relation to restrictive practices. It clarifies that while families are not required to report to the NDIS Commission, NDIS behaviour support providers must report regulated restrictive practices in participants’ behaviour support plans even if the practice is only used by the family.

Resources

We have several resources that will guide you through the regulations around restrictive practices which you can find by searching for “restrictive” in the Reading Room.

  • Policy: Eliminating restrictive practices
  • Info: Eliminating restrictive practices
  • Template: Restrictive practice report

The NDIS Commission also released a regulated restrictive practices guide in late October last year which provides further clarity around the use of regulated restrictive practices in people with a disability.  

And don’t forget that separately, you can also access in SPP a self-assessment for the National Principles for Child Safe Organisations.

Sign up for a free trial

You can access our restrictive practice resources and many more in the SPP platform. 

Royal Commission Series: new governance standard

Over the past few weeks, we have been highlighting a number of the Royal Commission’s recommendations, as well as updating you on resources that can help you implement best practices.

Our focus today is on Recommendation 90: New governance standard.

The Royal Commission’s executive summary of its final report emphasised the need to ensure high standards of governance within aged care providers:

“Provider governance and management directly impact on all aspects of aged care. Deficiencies in the governance and leadership of some approved providers have resulted in shortfalls in the quality and safety of care.

“Governance arrangements provide for the systems by which an organisation is controlled and operates, and the mechanisms by which the organisation and its people are held to account. They are set by the leaders of an organisation, in particular the board or governing body. They are implemented by executive leaders and workers who report to those executive leaders. They involve everyone in an organisation.”

In the Royal Commission’s view, the existing governance requirements under the Aged Care Quality Standards “do not provide a sufficiently strong basis for the governance and leadership of aged care providers.”

The Commission's recommendations

Recommendation 90 sets out a proposal for more robust governance requirements to be introduced, to drive improvements to the aged care system.  Key components of the recommendation include requirements that providers:

  • Have governing body members who possess the appropriate mix of skills, experience and knowledge of governance responsibilities, to ensure the delivery of safe and high-quality care by the provider;
  • Have a care governance committee, to monitor and ensure accountability for the quality of all care provided;
  • Seek and receive regular feedback from consumers, their representatives and staff, on the quality and safety of the services they deliver, and ways in which the services could be improved;
  • Have an integrated complaints management system, including regular reporting to the governing body about complaints, any patterns, and underlying reasons for the complaints;
  • Have effective risk management practices in place covering care risks and also financial and other organisation risks;
  • Give particular consideration to ensuring continuity of care in the event of default by contractors or subcontractors; and
  • Have a governing body representative provide an annual attestation that the governing body has satisfied itself that the provider has structures, systems and processes in place to deliver safe and high-quality care.

How can BNG help?

SPP’s existing self-assessment for the Aged Care Quality Standards is an excellent way for providers to better understand the core components of a comprehensive approach to governance.

The self-assessment goes well beyond just listing the requirements of the standards.  It guides providers through the core approaches and processes they should implement in order to achieve best practice across their organisation, and in the area of governance it includes detailed, educative, best practice modules covering topics such as:

  • Organisational structure and accountabilities; governing body recruitment, induction and training; and reporting;
  • Clinical governance;
  • Risk management systems;
  • Financial controls and management; and
  • Performance monitoring and evaluation, and quality improvement.

It also includes modules on client and community feedback and complaints.

All of the modules include downloadable resources such as policy templates, to help providers develop their own policies and procedures.

Towards Best Practice: Clinical Governance self-assessment

We also have a separate self-assessment for Clinical Governance, which is based on guidance from the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission. It addresses clinical governance at a more granular level and details the processes that should be in place for a clinical governance framework. The self-assessment outlines the roles and responsibilities of all individuals involved in care including the governing body, senior executive team, operational manager, the workforce, health practitioners and consumers.

Resources

We have many resources which will assist providers to implement a comprehensive approach to governance across their organisation, including a whole resource topic on “Governance and Management”.  You can find this section in the Reading Room under the heading “SPP Resources by Topic”.

You can also search for other resources using the search bar in the Reading Room. A number of our resources address Recommendation 90, including information sheets and policies covering:

  • Client Feedback;
  • Quality Management and Continuous Quality Improvement;
  • Complaints Management; and
  • Risk Management.

While the governance requirements are yet to be formally implemented, your organisation can get ahead by working through our self-assessments and implementing best practice policies and procedures across the organisation.  

To access these resources, and hundreds more, log in to SPP.

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You can access these governance resources and many more in the SPP platform. 

Royal Commission Series: dementia and palliative care

In its Final Report, titled Care, Dignity and Respect, the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety made 148 recommendations for action and improvements in response to the problems it identified in the aged care system. 

We’ve gone through the recommendations in detail, and over the next couple of weeks we will be providing a number of updates on how SPP can help you to get ahead with many of the recommendations. 

Our focus today is around dementia and palliative care. Dementia care is one of the four concerns that were singled out by the Royal Commission as requiring immediate attention:

“It is estimated that more than half of the people living in permanent residential aged care in 2019 had a diagnosis of one of the forms of dementia. The real percentage is likely higher, given the prevalence of undetected dementia.

“Despite this, our inquiry has revealed that the quality of aged care that people living with dementia receive is, at times, abysmal. We heard time and time again that staff members do not have the time or the skills to deliver the care that is needed. The quality of dementia care in the aged care system needs significant and immediate improvement.” 

To address the above identified issue, the Royal Commission has made Recommendation 80: Dementia and palliative care training for workers.

“By 1 July 2022, the Australian Government should implement as a condition of approval of aged care providers, that all workers engaged by providers who are involved in direct contact with people seeking or receiving services in the aged care system undertake regular training about dementia care and palliative care.”

We have several resources that can assist your organisation to get ahead in training workers in dementia and palliative care. 

Towards Best Practice Self-assessment: Dementia Australia’s Quality Care Recommendations (2019)

This self-assessment is available in SPP’s “Aged Care – towards best practice” group, and is based on Dementia Australia’s Quality Care Recommendations, which were developed in consultation with people living with dementia, their families, carers and advocates. 

Working through the self-assessment will assist your organisation to appreciate how it can work to support greater inclusion, respect and ultimately improved quality of life for people living with dementia. In particular, Recommendation 7 of the Quality Care Recommendations “Dementia trained staff” takes you through worker training regarding dementia. 

Dementia Australia’s Centre for Dementia Learning provides a range of resources, foundation learning modules and consultancy services that can assist providers who wish to access more detailed material or training for their workers. 

Resources

In SPP’s Reading Room, you can find Policy: End of Life Care and Palliative Care, which can help your organisation to embed advance care and end of life planning into your delivery of care. The resource addresses recognising end of life, assessing palliative care needs, responding to deterioration, and managing dying and bereavement. 

In addition to this resource, SPP also has these advance care resources:

  • Info: Advance care planning; and
  • Policy: Advance care planning.

We also have some other resources that address supporting clients with dementia, including:

  • Policy: Safety and security in residential aged care facilities
  • Policy: Intimacy and sexuality in aged care
  • Info: Intimacy and sexuality in aged care

You can find these resources by searching for key words in the SPP Reading Room. 

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