What do the new government Quality of Care standards mean for Montefiore, our residents and clients?
While the Royal Commission has been dominating headlines, another important change for the aged care sector is underway. The new Aged Care Quality Standards come into effect on July 1. While previously different standards applied to residential, home care and social support programs, now all aged care providers will be assessed according to a single set of eight standards to achieve Australian Government accreditation.
“The existing standards have been in place since 1997, and are out of step with the current needs of aged care users,” explains Yoni Hersh, recently appointed General Manager of Quality, Risk & Innovation. The new standards shift the definition of ‘good care’ to focus on outcomes achieved for the consumer, and how a provider demonstrates that. “It’s a challenging time for the aged care sector,” Yoni adds, “but we also have a unique opportunity to effect positive change.”
Montefiore is well placed to meet the increased customer focus of the new standards, in particular the first – Consumer Choice and Dignity. “The Philosophy of Living implemented across the organisation in recent years also focuses on Choice, Dignity and Wellbeing, so our values and work systems are already aligned,” Yoni adds.
As part of the accreditation process, each provider must submit a self-assessment to the Aged Care Quality & Safety Commission against the Standards, which is followed by an unannounced visit that includes an audit of records and interviews with consumers, family members and staff. The three Residential Care by Montefiore campuses are due for accreditation in coming months.
Maree Canty, General Manager of Clinical Services, agrees that the new standards intersect well with our established holistic approach. “My role is to implement governance and clinical systems that are flexibile enough to support staff as we work to meet each consumer’s individual needs,” she explains.
Montefiore’s clinical and allied health experts are key to our unique interdisciplinary model of care. “Each team member offers their own skills and knowledge as we work with each consumer to achieve what they want from their care,” Maree adds. “Increasingly people entering residential care and their families want us to focus on dignity of choice and quality of life – what brings joy and happiness.”