CHA: Scrap aged care accreditation

Catholic Health Australia has asked the Federal Government to abolish the current three year accreditation process for residential aged care services and replace it with a constant accreditation cycle that focuses on the quality of care being given to residents.

Catholic Health Australia (CHA), which represents Catholic not-for-profit services caring for 19,000 older Australians in residential aged care homes, also says the Government should replace its new website listing sanctions against aged care facilities with a new best practice information website that provides balanced details on aged care services.

"Aged Care homes currently re-apply for accreditation every three years, yet in reality they are monitored almost daily," said CHA Chief Executive Officer Martin Laverty.

"The current system of paper trail audit is becoming redundant, and should be replaced with a new 'constant accreditation cycle' that looks at the actual care received by each resident."

CHA has outlined a reform package in a submission to the Department of Health and Ageing's review of the accreditation process for residential aged care.

The submission says the current aged care accreditation process has become too punitive, and should be modernised to build the capacity of aged care providers to work towards best practice quality of care.

"The punitive nature of the current accreditation process is best demonstrated by the three week old 'Sanctions and Notices of Non-Compliance' website set up by the Department of Health and Ageing," Mr Laverty said.

"It details aged care services against who a sanction has been made."

"In setting up this new website, the Government has created a league table, but is only sharing negative information with aged care consumers. If we are going to have league tables they should be done properly with balanced information.

"The current website does not provide residents, family members, or consumers any detail of the action taken by an aged care service to remedy a sanction. Nor does it show consumers who is providing best practice care.

"CHA wants quality indicators or best practice monitoring so that consumers can learn about aged care services that are doing a good job, as well as those that the Department has found need improvement."

A copy of the CHA submission to the Department of Health and Ageing can be found at www.cha.org.au

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