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.
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.
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