New Quality Standards For Aged Care Providers


Aged Care (Single Quality Framework) Reform Bill 2018 (Cth)

This alert applies to all ‘approved providers’ of Commonwealth funded aged care services and will amend the NATIONAL – Aged Care Services and the NATIONAL – Aged Care – Quality Agency Principles modules

Please be advised that the Aged Care (Single Quality Framework) Reform Bill 2018 (Cth) (the Bill) passed on 10 September 2018 and is currently awaiting Royal Assent.

Most relevantly, the Bill amend the Aged Care Act 1997 (Cth) (the AC Act) and the Australian Aged Care Quality Agency Act 2013 (Cth) (the AACQA Act) and is scheduled to commence on 1 July 2019.

Introduction of a single set of new standards to apply to providers of aged care services

Approved providers of Commonwealth funded aged care services (approved providers) will be aware that at present, there are several sets of quality standards that apply to approved providers. These are:

  • Accreditation Standards (which apply to residential aged care services and some forms of flexible care);
  • Home Care Standards (which apply to home care services, Commonwealth Home Support Program services, and some forms of flexible care);
  • Flexible Care Standards (which apply to short term restorative care).

The purpose of the Bill is to introduce a single set of aged care standards (the Aged Care Quality Standards) which will apply to all approved providers, and which will be contained in the Quality of Care Principles. The Aged Care Quality Standards will replace the existing standards listed above.

It is thought that the Aged Care Quality Standards will increase consistency across aged care services, and will encourage approved providers to offer care and services that promote quality of life and wellbeing. The Aged Care Quality Standards will also reduce duplication of effort for approved providers delivering more than one type of aged care service.

The new Aged Care Quality Standards have been published by the Department of Health in the exposure draft of the Aged Care Legislation Amendment (Single Quality Framework Principles 2018 which is accessible here. It is expected that the Aged Care Quality Standards will be legislated later this year, subject to Government agreement and parliamentary processes, with a transition period until July 2019.

From 1 July 2019, the Australian Aged Care Quality Agency will expect approved providers to comply with the new Aged Care Quality Standards.

Please click here to access the Bill.

Contact

For further information please contact the Law Compliance team:

Phone: 1300 862 667

Email: info@lawcompliance.com.au