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More paperwork, more stress: managers on new aged care standards

The challenges of new regulations on top of the COVID-19 pandemic has left aged care managers struggling with added stress and paperwork.

Managers and operators of more than 250 aged care service providers participated in a new report put together by aged care governance specialists CompliSpace.

It found the vast majority of aged care managers (93 per cent) found that their workload had increased under the new Aged Care Quality Standards, which came into effect last year.

A similar number (92 per cent) reported that they were dealing with more paperwork that was reducing the amount of direct care time with residents, while more than three quarters (78 per cent) said they were experiencing increased stress levels.

CompliSpace chief executive David Griffiths said there has been no comprehensive review into the impact of the new Aged Care Quality Standards on aged care homes since they commenced on 1 July 2019.

“Our aged care sector is under intense scrutiny amidst the Aged Care Royal Commission, 20 reviews over the last 20 years, and the handling of COVID-19,” Griffiths said.

“It is also under intense stress as aged care staff endure more work in trying to meet the regulatory requirements, without further support or funding from the government.

“What our study found was the administrative burden of the new regulations may be adding strain to the sector, putting staff retention at risk and pointing to reduced capacity to care for residents.  

“The eight new Aged Care Quality Standards replaced four previous benchmarks. While they were necessary, we believe the unintended impacts have not been fully assessed.”

COVID-19 was adding to the strain, with 82 per cent of aged care homes needing to change their policies and procedures because of the virus, 85 per cent changing their systems and processes for managing staff training, and more than half (59 per cent) chancing their systems and processes for collecting and reporting on data.

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  1. What a waste of time when the current standards are not upheld.

  2. Rosemary Oates RN RMN RGerN DNA

    The problem is that many staff who are employed as Managers, as well as Care staff, are not properly qualified for the work involved.

    Management involves Planning, Co-ordinating, Directing & Controlling the whole operation !!!
    It also involves actually LOOKING at what is HAPPENING in the facility & not just sitting in the office overwhelmed with paperwork !!!! It also involves relating to & supporting staff in what they are doing & thus identifying issues before they are problematic…….

    The paperwork becomes easy once you SEE what staff are doing & how they are doing it !!!!

    It needs to be remembered that many of us worked & were able to maintain very high standards without the huge assistance of current technology !!!

  3. Seriously?

    The sector deserves everything it gets for even allowing these absurd standards to be implemented. They are vague, ambiguous and convoluted. The ACQSC explanatory book is 195 pages long…enough said.

    The standards evidence just how disconnected the Commission is from the reality of contemporary aged care. Let’s conveniently ignore their ludicrous charter to perform the conflicting roles of regulation and accreditation and their appalling record of failure in those spaces, the commission now expects a low-paid, unskilled migrant workforce with neither the aptitude or ability to perform at the level required to comprehensively understand these babbling standards. (If anyone refutes this, please direct me to your utopian hideaway)

    Successive iterations of what is now known as the ACQSC have presided over the systematic degradation of the Australian aged care system. They have implicitly condoned poor staffing levels, unqualified care personnel and the proliferation of morally and ethically unsuitable providers.

    They were found wanting in the Oakland review (Curiously delivered by Kate Carnell who was a director of the AACQA during most of those failures) and more recently by the Royal Commission. Oops…time lift our game!(read, better start looking like we’re doing our job)

    And now we’re being assessed by assessors who inconsistently apply random validation criteria (because they dont understand these obscure standards either)

    Just how does one set ‘consumer focused goals’ for a vegetative 93 year old, bed-ridden, lady with advanced dementia receiving palliative care? (Apparently the answer is to fraudulently and condescendingly write their care plans in the first person)

    Oh, and will somebody please tell these people that they’re the only ones who read care plans…they’re so bloated with irrelevant and outdated information (that the assessors believe should be included) that real nurses wouldn’t use them to guide care.

    And what does the sector do?

    Instead of using this uncertainty as an opportunity to set its own standards and validation criteria, it cowers under the misdirection of an incompetent regulator, desperately hoping to please their master and ready to accept a well -deserved beating along the way.

    Sadly, its quite apparent we’re dumb…and just getting dumber

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