Bupa has welcomed release of the Review of National Aged Care Quality Regulatory Processes, commonly known as the 'Carnell inquiry', and said it broadly supports all 10 recommendations designed to enhance care quality and protect older Australians.
The review, commissioned in May this year, examined and reported on federal government regulatory practices relating to monitoring the quality and standard of care in residential aged care facilities.
The review confirmed announced accreditation visits will be replaced with unannounced audits across Australia’s residential aged care facilities.
Other recommendations include the creation of an Aged Care Commissioner, creation of a centralised database for real-time information sharing, a star-rated system for public reporting of provider performance and enhanced complaints handling.
“Our commitment to this will be relentless, on behalf of all older Australians, who deserve nothing but the best of care." said aged care minister Ken Wyatt, who announced the review after revelations of incidents at South Australia’s Oakden facility, “The old process of notifying providers ahead of subsequent re-accreditation reviews will go, replaced by comprehensive unannounced audits.”
In a statement, Bupa, the operator of 70 aged-care homes across Australia, said unannounced visits are an important element in ensuring compliance.
"We will seek close consultation with the sector to work through the detail of unannounced accreditation audits and understand how it might work to ensure it doesn’t create unnecessary administrative burden or have any adverse impact on resident care," it said.
"We support the proposed increased data collection and more involved reporting, as it would provide greater transparency and accountability, more helpful information for customers, and encourage provider competition."
It added, "If the Review’s recommendations are accepted by the Government it will be important to ensure in their implementation that the focus of regulation remains on outcomes, rather than inputs, and does not create unnecessary administrative burden that redirects resources away from care to our residents."