Government's role in aged care
The Commonwealth government is responsible for the aged care system in Australia. Aged care falls under the Department of Health. The majority of aged care homes receive Federal government funding via subsidies.
Before they can receive Commonwealth funding, all aged care homes in Australia have to be accredited and approved by the Australian Government. The government organisation responsible for managing both the accreditation process and the quality systems for government subsidised aged care homes is the Australian Aged Care Quality Agency.
Aged care homes must comply with all 44 expected outcomes against four broad accredition standards at all times.
The Agency publishes a report of every accreditation audit (including any notices of non-compliance or sanctions) on its website.
To be accredited and to receive government funding, aged care homes MUST all go through the same process of accreditation on a regular and ongoing basis.
The length of time awarded to a home for its accreditation status is a reflection of the findings in the assessment process. Aged care homes with 3-year accreditation have met the standards effectively. Homes with 1-year or 2-year accreditation have met the standards but generally still need to make some changes or improvements.
There are three ways of finding out if a home is fully accredited or has a problem with accreditation, including the nature of the problem.
1. The Australian Aged Care Quality Agency publishes the full report of every aged care home’s accreditation audit on its website. If a home has been issued with a ‘notice of non-compliance’ or a ‘sanction’, that will be clearly stated of the front page of the report, including the reasons why. It will also have a link to the sanctions page of the Department of Health’s website.
To read the current accreditation audit report of any Commonwealth subsidised aged care home, you can use the Quality Agency’s search function.
2. The Department of Health publishes the names of all aged care homes which have been issued with notices of ‘Non-Compliance’ or ‘Sanctions’ on its website at this Department of Health link. Notifications remain on the website until the problems have been resolved.
The Department of health link also includes homes that have been non-compliant or sanctioned within the last two years.
3. The My Aged Care website also identifies aged care homes that have received a sanction in its Aged Care Home Finder. When you click onto a home in the finder, the basic information provided includes a statement which will say if there are notices of sanctions or non-compliance for the home.
Aged care audits are incredibly thorough down to interviewing not only the residents by the resident's family. Most take several days with two inspectors on site.