Home | Industry & Reform | First SIRS insight report released, half of providers record serious incidents

First SIRS insight report released, half of providers record serious incidents

The first set of data from the Serious Incident Response Scheme (SIRS) has been released, with just under half of all providers reporting serious incidents.

Under the new scheme, which came into force in April, residential providers have been required to report serious priority 1 incidents to the Commission within 24 hours of becoming aware of the incident.

During the period 1 April to 12 May 2021, the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission received 4,496 notifications from residential aged care providers.

1,876 (42 per cent ) were considered by the Commission to meet the criteria for a Priority 1 reportable incident.

Of the priority 1 incidents the most common fell under the category "unreasonable use of force", with 778 such incidents reported.

This is over one hundred incidents of this kind per week during the period 1 April to 12 May.

There were also 448 incidents of "neglect", 192 incidents of "unexpected death", 163 incidents of "unexplained absence" and 149 incidents categorised as "unlawful sexual contact or inappropriate sexual conduct".

Picture: SIRS insight report May 2021

The commission went on to investigate just 16 of these incidents.

"The Commission may investigate a reportable incident, including a provider’s compliance with its responsibilities, where immediate action is required to respond to and mitigate risk to consumers," the report states.

Commissioner Janet Anderson said that the notifications the commission has so far received show that providers are responding swiftly to their new reporting obligations.

"An aged care organisation which has an effective incident management system is well-positioned to collect and use incident data to build a learning culture, helping staff to prevent similar incidents from occurring and to better protect the health, safety and wellbeing of aged care consumers," she said.

2,620 of the incidents notified to the Commission by providers did not meet the criteria for Priority 1 reportable incidents.

The four-thousand-plus incidents were reported by 392 providers, or 47 per cent of the 835 active residential aged care providers nationally, at an average of 2.25 priority 1 incidents per provider. 

Of these providers, the notifications made represent 954 individual aged care services, equating to an average of 0.69 priority incidents per individual service.

There are 2,719 active residential aged care services across Australia, providing for 190,900 people, according to the report.

From 1 October 2021, residential aged care providers will also be required to report Priority 2 reportable incidents to the Commission within 30 days of becoming aware of the incident.

The SIRS Insight report is available here.

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One comment

  1. I’m a bit concerned that any correlations drawn between this report and the next won’t be accurate, given that within the last couple of weeks the definitions of “reportable incidents” have changed significantly. Probably because the Scheme was drowning in irrelevant data!
    This could mean that the data is skewed – particularly where a minor incident has been removed from the definition, such as reporting of an item as “stolen” which later turns up. This definition was absent from the first data collection, but present for the second…
    I don’t think it will be helpful to use this data as a means to self-assessment, facilities are better to wait for the revised dataset from the second report and correlation to a subsequent third report period for self-assessment.

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