Following the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety, the Australian Government is making a number of changes to aged care to improve the quality and safety of aged care services. These include:
- The introduction of a Code of Conduct for Aged Care (1 December 2022)
- The extension of the Serious Incident Response Scheme to in-home and community aged care services (1 December 2022)
- Changes to consent arrangements for restrictive practices (1 December 2022)
- The introduction of Star Ratings for residential aged care (December 2022)
- Capping Home Care Package administrative and management fees (1 January 2023)
Carers NSW has developed a fact sheet that provides more information about upcoming changes.
The following information about upcoming changes is based on information provided by the Department of Health and Aged Care and the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission.
Changes coming into effect 1 December 2022
A Code of Conduct for Aged Care
The Australian Government is introducing a Code of Conduct for Aged Care (the Code) from 1 December 2022.
The Code will aim to better protections for older Australians to keep them safe from harm. It will apply to all approved aged care providers except for Commonwealth Home Support Programme (CHSP) and National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Flexible Aged Care Program (NATSIFACP) providers.
Find out more about the Code of Conduct for Aged Care.
Serious Incident Response Scheme extended to in-home care
From 1 December 2022, the Serious Incident Response Scheme (SIRS) will be extended from residential aged care to all home care and flexible care delivered in a home or community setting.
The SIRS requires aged care providers to identify, record, manage and resolve all serious that occur, or are alleged or suspected to have happened. This includes incidents that take place in the provision of care that may cause or be expected to cause harm to other people such as family members or carers.
Find out more about the Serious Incident Response Scheme or view the draft SIRS guidelines for home services providers.
Changes to consent for Restrictive Practices
From 1 December 2022, there will be changes consent arrangements for restrictive practices in residential aged care.
The Quality of Care Principles will be amended to include a hierarchy of persons who can consent to the use of restrictive practices when someone who is ageing cannot consent themselves and there is no explicit legal avenue under state/territory laws.
Learn more about restrictive practices in aged care.
Changes coming soon
Star Ratings for residential aged care
By the end of December 2022 all residential aged care facilities in Australia will have Star Ratings which will be published and publicly available.
Star Ratings will be available on the Find a Provider tool on My Aged Care and will make it easier for aged care consumers and their carers to compare the quality of residential aged care facilities.
Learn more about Star Ratings for residential aged care.
Capping Home Care Package administrative and management fees
The Australian Government has recently introduced legislation to cap administration and management charges in the Home Care Packages (HCP) Program. These changes will commence on 1 January 2023.
From 1 January 2023, Home Care Package care and package management charges will be capped at 20% and 15% of the package level respectively.
Staying up to date with changes to aged care
There are a number of further reforms planned for aged care, however the timing and details of many of these changes are not yet clear.
You can stay up to date with upcoming planned changes to aged care and opportunities to have your say on reforms by visiting the Aged Care Engagement Hub or subscribing to the Department of Health and Aged Care’s EngAged eNewsletter.