|Friday, 12 December 2008 13:41 | Print page:|
Related and main article: Aged care report card
The Minister announced in her media release of 26 November 2008, and also states in the Report on the Operation of the Aged Care Act 1997 - 1 July 2007 to 30 June 2008:
"...This is about transparency and openness in aged care..."
Our records indicate that at least 108 (3.8%) of aged-care homes did so.
Aged Care Crisis have been open and transparent by publishing our analysis and findings, together with the supporting data. We wrote to the Minister prior to publishing our findings, seeking clarification of the discrepencies, together with the data source available to us at the time.
Update - 16 Dec 2008:
Table 1: Aged-care homes that failed some non-compliance over period of 1 July 2007 - 30 June 2008
* = Sanctioned nursing homes; PFP = Private-for-profit; Govt. = Government; Sanc. Date = Sanction/s Date;
Click on the column headings with the sorting arrows to sort the information in the table:
The information in this table is based on information that we have been able to access published on-line (at various intervals) by the Aged Care Standards and Accreditation Agency (ACSAA) and the Department of Health and Ageing (DHA). The current limited system of late release and early removal of adverse reports from the Aged Care Standards and Accreditation Agency website is unsatisfactory. Based on the limited information that is publicly available, the data may not be contemporaneous and these findings are tentative.
Lack of transparency: An unfulfilled promise
The Rudd government has promised greater transparency but there is little evidence of this in the aged care sector - particularly from a consumer perspective. If the Accreditation Agency and Government departments are doing their job then they should be collating the material and graphing it from a consumer's perspective. There must be far more involvement from communities and much more consumer input into these processes.
We invite the Aged Care Standards and Accreditation Agency, the Department of Health and Ageing and the Minister to make all relevant reports and documents relating to the providers of aged care publicly available, and if our information does not reflect the true situation, to offer a more accurate analysis.
The current limited system of late release, and early removal of adverse reports, from the Aged Care Standards and Accreditation Agency website is unsatisfactory. Consumers are entitled to disclosure of past, as well as present, oversight (accreditation) reports. Recurrent offenders are of most concern. The Accreditation Agency should openly publish all reports (the old website accommodated historical reports prior to 2005 but has not since then). The community should be able to see what the company or provider is capable of when no one is watching - not just when they have been given time to prepare and not after they had responded to an adverse finding in order to stay in business.
One of the most remarkable and inexplicable things about the accreditation process is the total absence of any meaningful data from the nursing homes.
The agency does not expect the facility to disclose its incidence of pressure sores, contractures, weight loss and dehydration, complaints, incident reports, improvement logs, etc, nor do they verify the accuracy of data provided and report on it.
Consumers should examine the track record of the owner in his/her other homes. It is the owner who allocates funding and dictates policy. Consumers should visit the home unannounced and be given access, preferably during a meal time, to see the quality of food and whether there are staff helping residents to eat. A pervasive smell of urine or faeces is a warning. Facilities for physical exercise and mental stimulation are important.
Relatives are often unaware of the key relationship between bad nursing and the deteriorating condition of the elderly resident. Weight loss, dehydration, pressure sores, contractures, being bedridden, and mental deterioration may be accepted as due to ageing rather than to bad nursing, excess sedation, insufficient exercise and a lack of mental stimulation.
Insufficient and untrained staff is a key problem. Prospective residents and their families should obtain staffing information and have the knowledge to assess staffing ratios. This is the sort of information you require when you are evaluating a nursing home.
Accreditation: Accreditation is the evaluation process which aged care homes must undergo to continue receiving residential care subsidies from the Australian Government.
Aged Care Standards and Accreditation Agency: An industry-funded body called the Aged Care Standards and Accreditation Agency (ACSAA) is responsible for the accreditation of aged-care facilities, in line with the current federal government policy of self-regulation by industry.
Accreditation Standards: Homes are assessed against four Accreditation Standards: Management Systems, Staffing and Organisational Development; Health and Personal Care; Resident Lifestyle and Physical Environment and Safe Systems. Each standard is divided into a number of Expected Outcomes. There are 44 Expected Outcomes across the four Accreditation Standards.
Approved Provider: A person or organisation approved under Part 2.1 of the Aged Care Act to be a provider of care for the purpose of payment of subsidy (A provider approved since the commencement of the Act must be a corporation.)
Sanction: A sanction (or multiple sanctions, depending upon the level of non-compliance/s) is a penalty imposed by the Department of Health and Ageing on operators of residential aged care facilities in cases of what they deem to be serious non-compliance with the provisions of the Aged Care Act 1997.