The Australian Aged Care Quality Agency's Consumer Experience Report has been launched.
The Australian Aged Care Quality Agency's Consumer Experience Report has been launched. Jacob Ammentorp Lund

Minister launches report for clearer info on aged care

OLDER Australians and their families will now be able to read what an aged care resident has said about their experience of care and services is in a particular home, with the launch of a 'consumer experience report'.

The Australian Aged Care Quality Agency's Consumer Experience Report was launched by the Minister for Ageing, the Hon Ken Wyatt AM MP yesterday at the Agency's Better Practice conference in Sydney.

Launching the initiative, the Minister said the new consumer experience report will represent the answers to 10 key questions asked during resident and family interviews.

"This is aimed at informing choices, by providing consumers with clear and accessible information," the Minister said.

"The report is a further example of the innovative approach being driven by the Quality Agency, with surveyors recently adopting a computer-assisted audit tool to better capture audit information on the performance of homes against the expected standards and enable report writing.

Quality Agency CEO Nick Ryan said the development of the Consumer Experience Report has involved a wide range of stakeholders, from consumer groups to academics and aged care providers.

"Each year our assessors speak to almost 55,000 residents and their families, about their experience living in aged care. We wanted to find a better way of capturing this information and presenting it in a way that is useful and meaningful for people looking at moving into aged care," Mr Ryan said.

"The consumer experience report marks a turning point in the way we report on an aged care home's performance. Along with the audit report, we have designed an interview that captures a snapshot of the consumer's experience in an individual aged care home.

"We wanted to ensure the voice of all consumers; particularly those living with dementia, are heard and included.

"Questions cover food, safety, emotional and physical care, support for independent living, follow-up by staff, communication and respectful care," he said.

Mr Ryan acknowledged and thanked the contribution of the Lincoln Centre for Research on the Ageing at LaTrobe University; in developing and testing the tool in aged care homes, the University of Sydney for the research on areas of importance to consumers and the work of a reference group consisting of consumer groups, aged care service providers and aged care experts, who all contributed to the development of the report.

The consumer experience report is being rolled out to all aged care homes across Australia, as each home receives its re-accreditation audit.

A sample of the report and more information is available on the Quality Agency's website.

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