List of Recommendations

Recommendation 1

2.173
The Committee recommends that the Department of Health develop national guidelines for the Community Visitors Scheme, including policies for volunteer visitors to follow in the event of observed or suspected abuse or neglect.

Recommendation 2

2.174
The Committee recommends the Australian Government review:
the Aged Care Funding Instrument (ACFI) to ensure that it is providing for adequate levels of care for the individual needs of aged care recipients;
the adequacy of funding levels to ensure ACFI funding is indexed annually; and
the range of penalties relating to breaches of ACFI funding standards by aged care providers.

Recommendation 3

2.175
The Committee recommends that the Australian Government review the Medicare Benefits Schedule relating to medical practitioner visits to residential aged care facilities.

Recommendation 4

2.176
The Committee recommends that the Australian Government:
legislate to ensure that residential aged care facilities provide for a minimum of one Registered Nurse to be on site at all times; and
specifically monitor and report on the correlation between standards of care (including complaints and findings of elder abuse) and staffing mixes to guide further decisions in relation to staffing requirements.

Recommendation 5

2.177
The Committee recommends that the Department of Health ensure consumer information, including the Charter of Rights, for aged care residents and their families is available in a wider range of languages to ensure better access for those from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.

Recommendation 6

2.178
The Committee recommends that an independent review and a parliamentary inquiry (by the appropriate Committee) be undertaken into the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission after two years to determine its effectiveness in ensuring high standards of care, best clinical practice and reducing mistreatment.

Recommendation 7

2.179
The Committee reiterates and supports the recommendation from the Carnell-Paterson Review for the current to move to unannounced audits in residential aged care facilities and that any unannounced visits to residential aged care facilities should not be confined to business hours.

Recommendation 8

3.178
The Committee recommends that the reportable assault ‘resident-on-resident’ exemption, in which assaults committed by a resident with a cognitive impairment are not required to be reported to the Department of Health, be removed.

Recommendation 9

3.179
The Committee recommends that the National Aged Care Quality Indicator Program (the Program):
be made mandatory for providers of Australian Government-funded residential aged care services; and
be expanded to include a broader range of key indicators, to be determined with the involvement of the aged care sector and consumer groups.

Recommendation 10

3.180
The Committee recommends that the Australian Government amend the Aged Care Act 1997 to legislate that:
the use of restrictive practices in residential aged care facilities be limited to the ‘least restrictive’ and be a measure of last resort only;
any use of restrictive practices within the legislated meaning be recorded by providers and collected by the Department of Health;
restrictive practices are only to be used after a medical practitioner has prescribed/recommended such use; and
the legal guardian and/or family member must be advised immediately.

Recommendation 11

4.115
The Committee recommends that the Department of Health work with the aged care sector to implement a rating system (for example, a star or point rating system) for residential aged care facilities, and develop an action plan for how such a system could be implemented.

Recommendation 12

4.116
The Committee recommends that the public be provided with information through the My Aged Care website regarding the number of complaints and reportable incidents that have been lodged, responded to and resolved, and the number of complainants, at individual aged care facilities.

Recommendation 13

4.117
The Committee recommends that the Australian Government examine ways to ensure all consumers have access to the Older Persons Advocacy Network (OPAN) advisory services, and include in consumer experience reports the providers that refuse OPAN access to their facilities.

Recommendation 14

4.118
The Committee recommends that the Australian Government agencies responsible for the delivery of aged care services commit to a more consumer-oriented focus, with greater, and more transparent, consumer involvement in the delivery of aged care services.

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