Are the New Quality Standards really set-up for success?

The new Aged Care Quality Standards are a positive step toward creating a more human-centred industry.

Moving away from the tick box approach to compliance, the new Standards will empower consumers and their families by focusing on experience and outcomes.

While the task of implementing these important regulatory reforms proceeds, in other realms of the policy world, work on the aged care funding model and aged care workforce is also meant to be progressing.

Given the critical inter-relationship between quality, funding and workforce in improving the industry, we must ask the question, how well has the policy work on the funding model and the aged care workforce considered the new Quality Standards? Will the apparent lack of coordination and integration of this work put at risk the potential benefits the new standards have to offer?

While policy work in other domains fails to keep pace with the regulatory reforms, we worry that the system is not being set up to succeed.

We are two weeks away from a very important set of regulatory reforms; reforms we hope will drive positive and continuous improvement in aged care. Yet, many questions remain unanswered in relation to a range of critical policy issues.

While we understand that governments can be highly fragmented and siloed, human beings are not. We need to ensure policy and reform is coordinated and holistic, putting the needs of senior Australians at the centre.

It is critical that Government develops a strategic plan for ageing in Australia, sooner rather than later, to ensure reforms do not continue to progress in isolation and that we are doing all we can to set ourselves up for success.

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