September 2017

Consumer Report to cover ‘All Aged Care homes’

(Above image - Consumer Report launch with Australian Aged Care Quality Agency (AACQA) Senior Quality Surveyor Mary Winkels, AACQA Executive Director Operations Ann Wunsch, Head of the Lincoln Centre for Research on Ageing at La Trobe University Professor Yvonne Wells, AACQA CEO Nick Ryan, AACQA Executive Director Programs and Education Christina Bolger)

The Australian Aged Care Quality Agency’s new Consumer Experience Reports were launched by the Minister for Aged Care Ken Wyatt AM at our Better Practice Conference in Sydney in August.

The new reports, to be published on our website alongside accreditation audit reports, will allow older Australians and their families to read what aged care residents say about their experience of care and services in residential aged care homes.

Speaking at the official launch, Minister Wyatt said the new reports are “aimed at informing choices, by providing consumers with clear and accessible information”. 

The consumer experience report is being rolled out to cover all government-approved aged care homes across Australia, as each receives its re-accreditation audit.

Minister Wyatt said the reports are “a further example of the innovative approach being driven by the Quality Agency, with surveyors recently adopting a computer-assisted audit tool to better capture audit information on the performance of homes against the expected standards and enable report writing.”

Quality Agency CEO Nick Ryan described the reports’ significance:

“Each year our assessors speak to almost 55,000 residents and their families about their experience living in aged care. We wanted to find a better way of capturing this information and presenting it in a way that is useful and meaningful for people looking at moving into aged care.

“Our partnership with the Lincoln Centre for Research on Ageing at La Trobe University has provided us with tested questions and a sound basis to support interviewing care recipients in aged care services.

“The consumer experience report marks a turning point in the way we report on an aged care home’s performance. Along with the audit report, we have designed an interview that captures a snapshot of the consumer’s experience in an individual aged care home.

Each report represents the answers to 10 key questions asked during resident and family interviews. Questions cover food, safety, emotional and physical care, support for independent living, follow-up by staff, communication and respectful care.

Mr Ryan acknowledged the Reference Group involved in the development of the Consumer Experience Report.

We will be reviewing our progress to date in October 2017, including strategies to maximise the inclusion of people with dementia.

A sample of the report and more information is available on the Quality Agency’s website at www.aacqa.gov.au/consumer-reports