Response 101503685

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Introduction

2. Do you give consent for your submission to be published in whole or in part?

Please select one item
(Required)
Ticked Yes
No

Details about you

3. Are you answering on behalf of an organisation?

Please select one item
Ticked Yes
No
If yes, please list organisation name
Australian Aged Care Group Pty Ltd

4. Where do you live or where is your organisation based?

Please select one item
NSW
Ticked Vic
Qld
WA
SA
Tas
ACT
NT
City/Town
Melbourne, South Yarra

Details about your organisation

5. What role best describes your organisation?

Please select one item
Aged care advocate
Ticked Aged care service provider
Peak body – consumer
Peak body – provider
Peak body – professional
Other

7. In which states/territories does your organisation deliver services?

Please select all that apply
NSW
Ticked Vic
Qld
WA
SA
Tas
ACT
NT

For aged care providers only

10. What types of care does your service deliver?

Please select all that apply
Ticked Residential care
Transition care
Home care
Commonwealth Home Support Program
National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Program services
Multi-purpose services
Innovative care services
Short-term restorative care services
Clinical services
Health services
Mental health service
Other

Questions about accreditation and monitoring compliance of residential aged care services

11. Do you think that processes to accredit and monitor residential aged care services are effective?

Accreditation process
Please select one item
Yes, always Yes, mostly Yes, sometimes Ticked No Don’t know
Monitoring process
Please select one item
Yes, always Yes, mostly Ticked Yes, sometimes No Don’t know

12. Do you think processes to review and investigate non-compliance with the accreditation standards are effective?

Please select one item
Yes, always
Yes, mostly
Yes, sometimes
Ticked No
Don’t know

13. Are you aware that sanctions can be imposed on residential aged care services when they fail to comply with the accreditation standards?

Please select one item
Ticked Yes
No

14. Do you think these sanctions are effective?

Please select one item
Yes, always
Yes, mostly
Ticked Yes, sometimes
No
Don’t know

15. What features of the existing assessment and monitoring process should be retained?

Retain assessment & monitoring processes
A set of standards to comply with Support with mediations between complainants and aged care providers

16. What features of the existing assessment and monitoring process should be changed?

Change assessment & monitoring
Announced and unannounced onsite accreditation visits are ineffective and counterproductive, due to limited time frame to review a high number of standards/outcomes as well as background and suitability of assessors to conduct an effective review. Standards need to be reduced in number/changed to concentrate on resident care and services and remove duplications. Reliance on 'hearsay' for complaints made by resident representatives and staff/ex-staff in the complaints process. Complaints officers frequently are not familiar with the relevant legislation. Complaints officers are frequently pushing for an early resolution by pressuring providers to agree to settle claims by agreeing to either waive or correct fee payments or other payments complainants would be liable to pay without getting to the core of the complaint. Residents and representatives as well as staff need to be educated on the legal responsibilities of providers and what care and services can reasonable be expected in residential care, so unreasonable and vexatious complaints can be reduced and the focus can be on substantiated complaints where residents are at serious risk.

Questions about complaints

17. Have you made a complaint about a residential aged care service in the last 10 years?

Please select one item
Yes
Ticked No

Never made a complaint

25. Please identify why a complaint has not been made.

Please select all that apply
No reason to make a complaint
Didn't know how to
Too much effort required
Fear of retribution for making a complaint
Ticked No confidence in the handling of a complaint
You are welcome to provide further details on your response
As a staff and manager in residential aged care working in the aged care industry since 1992 I have been dealing with numerous complaints made by staff, resident representatives and other bodies (State Trustees) but have not made any complaints myself about care and services provided in residential aged care homes. However, I have made several informal complaints to the complaints commissioner/complaints department about the matter cases have been handled.

26. Do you have any suggestions for how complaints handled by the Aged Care Complaints Commissioner could be better handled?

Note: this question is included for organisations and those individuals who have not made a complaint
Officers working for the complaints commissioner need to be better educated about relevant aged care legislation. Officers need to recognize the difference between a justified complaint which potentially puts a resident at risk and a vexatious complaint made by a person who has ulterior (mostly financial) motives. Complaints need to be prioritized and handled according to potential risk to residents, by experienced and appropriately educated officers with a clear framework to work within and adhere to.

Additional comments

27. Do you have anything else that you would like to contribute to the Review?

Additional comments
Legislation such as the specified care and services and user rights principles are in themselves unclear and ambiguous and hard to interpret for consumers and aged providers alike. The Department is no longer publishing the "Residential Care Manual" which provided guidelines to aged care providers about application of legislation. Instead, a series of newsletters is being issued dealing with various topics in an unorganized and often incoherent matter. The current accreditation standards are too "vague" and open to interpretation and assessors are very often not appropriately qualified and experienced enough to make sound judgements. There are issues with the information on the MyAgedCare website provided to consumers not being reflected in the DHS asset testing and medicare payment system which lead to complaints from consumers, especially in the means testing areas. There are major issues with the annual and lifetime caps that are not applied correctly by DHS/medicare.