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    The Innovation Hub - Governance project

    “Successful aged care organisations are characterised by high performance in governance, quality and financial management.”  South Australia Innovation Hub, 2015

    The South Australia Innovation Hub trial’s aim is to improve and sustain better outcomes for older Australians engaged with aged care services. This will be achieved through developing a community of practice where members contribute and develop via working groups that focus on mutually agreed project areas.

    The South Australia Innovation Hub (SA Hub) commenced in October 2014. The members of the ‘Hub’ were:

    • ACH Group
    • Barossa Village Incorporated
    • Boandik Lodge Incorporated
    • Helping Hand Aged Care
    • James Brown Memorial Trust
    • Monrieth Aged Care Facility Limited
    • Wambone Proprietary Limited
    • Resthaven Incorporated
    • Southern Cross Care Incorporated (South Australia and Northern Territory)
    • The Society of Saint Hilarion Incorporated.

     

    The SA Hub is supported and governed by a Hub Working Group involving the Department of Social Services, the Australian Aged Care Quality Agency, the Aged Care Financing Authority and COTA Australia together with four SA Hub member representatives.

    The Hub project areas include:

    • Governance
    • Consumer Directed Care
    • Quality of Life
    • Customer Engagement
    • Complaints Handling
    • Workforce
    • Centre for Leadership and Excellence in Ageing (CLEA)

     

    The Governance project

    What does a high performing board look like?

    Strong governance is a hallmark of effective performance by aged care service organisations in consistently achieving Accreditation Standards.

    By providing a forum for co-design the SA Hub has provided an opportunity for the governance project to shape Government policy by:

    • Assisting Government to understand what better practice in aged care governance looks like, including the integration of consumer engagement.
    • Developing better practice resources which may be used by Government to assist build industry capacity.
    • Developing a governance framework which:
      • recognises provider performance and supports market maturity through development of a resource - “a framework” - to support self assessment and continuous improvement towards high performance governance practice; and
      • may be used by Government to augment earned autonomy criteria if it makes a decision to roll the policy out nationally; and
      • provides advice to Government on the development and trial of alternative regulatory models such as co-regulation.

     

    The project included:

    1. Development of collaborative processes utilising a Community of Practice approach and related resources to assist aged care providers to identify, share and further develop good governance practice. Two simple questions that directed the group in this part of the governance project were: “What does a high performing board look like?” And, “What are the characteristics of a high performing board?”

    2. Exploration of ‘best practice’ governance and leadership based on a comparative analysis of the literature to identify contemporary models and frameworks, informed by the outcomes of the project consultations. This has been documented in the report: Effective Governance : a comparative analysis

    3. Development of a framework for effective governance practice to support the boards of aged care providers to benchmark or self-assess their governance practices

    Part of the value of the Effective Governance - a framework for aged care is that it seeks to capture an aged care provider’s perspective on what constitutes effective governance through the indicators, measures, questions for deliberation, and stories that describe the continuum of governance practice leading to ‘high performance’.

    It is principle-based and provides a clear structure for exploration, self-assessment, quality improvement and strengthening performance in governance practice.

    The Effective Governance – a framework for aged care is now available for use by all aged care providers.

    You can also read the Governance Research Report on the project.

    More information on the SA Innovation Hub is available on its website http://sainnovationhub.org/projects