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Aged care homes to field unannounced visits

Unannounced audits have begun rolling out across Australia’s aged care homes.

July 1 marked the start date for the new system, under which aged care homes will no longer receive notices for the dates of re-accreditation audits.

The move was recommended in Kate Carnell and Professor Ron Paterson's Review of National Aged Care Quality Regulatory Processes.

Carnell and Paterson said Australian Aged Care Quality Agency data over the past five years demonstrates that unannounced site visits are more effective than announced site visits at identifying non-compliance.

Aged Care Minister Ken Wyatt said there will be no compromise.

“This is about certainty and confidence for older Australians and families whose loved ones are receiving care.

“Statistics show that, overwhelmingly, Australia’s aged care homes provide outstanding services but our focus must be on maintaining high standards across the board and at all times,” Wyatt said.

He said the new re-accreditation audit regime builds on the existing system of unannounced inspections by the Quality Agency.

“Since last July, the Agency has conducted almost 3,000 unannounced assessment visits on homes, targeting specific quality standard requirements, with nine homes losing their accreditation.”

The outcome of the audits, along with interviews with aged care residents and families, will be published on the Quality Agency website.

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