The latest insights from our award-winning Aged Care legal team.

In this edition:

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Update: Labour Hire Licensing July 2019

Anthony Massaro provides key insight into the operation of the Victorian Labour Hire Licensing Scheme, and it's recent updated, which has implications on all businesses.

Anthony specifically looks at the changes within the context of Aged Care. In the video, he covers the following:

  1. What is the Labour Hire Licensing scheme?
  2. What is the timeline for the scheme?
  3. Who does the scheme affect?
  4. What does this mean for residential aged care providers?
  5. What does this mean for home care providers?

Click here to view the video.

Respite care access on the rise and residential care admissions down

A recent report from GEN Aged Care has revealed that the use of aged care services such as at home services and respite residential care are on the rise, whilst permanent residential care is on the decline.

Once a person decides that they would like to access aged care services, an aged care assessment will take place to determine what services will be of most benefit to the individual, this includes the decision between staying at home and receiving services or moving permanently into am aged care facility.

The report found that there has been a significant decrease in admissions into permanent residential aged care, with 71,928 admissions in 2017-2018 compared to 73,100 in 2016-2017, with Victoria having the highest rate of submissions.

Notably, respite residential care, which is a short term stay in residential care, has increased to 79,099 entries in 2017-2018 compared to 75,338 in 2016-2017.

To find out more about the GEN aged care report, please click here.

Timeframes for implementing the new Charter of Aged Care Rights

The new Charter of Aged Care Rights (Charter) came into effect on 1 July 2019 and replaced the various existing charters of care recipients’ rights and responsibilities. The new Charter gives all consumers the same rights, regardless of the types of services they receive.

Key changes for providers include a new responsibility to give consumers a signed copy of the Charter, assist consumers to understand the Charter and ensure consumers are given a reasonable opportunity to sign the Charter.

The roll-out of the new Charter will the staged with the key timeframes as follows:

  • 1 July 2019 – all requirements apply to new care recipients of all aged care programs;
  • 30 September 2019 – all requirements apply to existing consumers of residential care and short-term restorative care in a residential setting;
  • 31 December 2019 – all requirements apply to existing consumers of home care and short-term restorative care in a home setting.

Other transitional arrangements and timeframes also apply for existing consumers of other aged care programs.

Find out more about the new Charter on the Department’s website here.

Minimising physical and chemical restraint in residential aged care

The Quality of Care Principles 2014 (Principles) have been amended by the Quality of Care Amendment (Minimising the Use of Restraints) Principles 2019 to reflect specific requirements in relation to minimising the use of physical and chemical restraints in residential care settings. The new requirements commenced on 1 July 2019.

Under the amended Principles, a restrain is defined as “any practice, device or action that interferes with a consumer’s ability to make a decision or restricts a consumer’s free movement”. Where physical or chemical restraints are used, approved providers must meet a number of conditions, and are required to regularly monitor the consumer and record information in the consumer’s care and services plan.

The Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission (Commission) will seek evidence of actions by approved providers to use alternative strategies to minimise the use of restraints, and to identify and review the management of consumers who are currently chemically or physically restrained. Read more about the Principles here.

The Commission has developed a Self-Assessment Tool for Recording Consumers Receiving Psychotropic Medications to help approved providers to record how their use of chemical restraints is managed (Tool). The Tool provides details of the type of information that the Commission will seek to review when undertaking assessment of aged care services against the Quality of Care Standards, which came into effect on 1 July 2019.

Read more about the Self-Assessment Tool for Recording Consumers Receiving Psychotropic Medications, please see here.