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Only 66 per cent of home services met all requirements. Picture: Supplied/ACQSC

Aged care regulator to increase audits for home care

The Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission (ACQSC) is increasing audits after the latest report found one in every three home care services failing to comply with all eight standards.

The latest ACQSC report revealed that despite home care compliance improving from 52 per cent to 66 per cent, the regulator will increase the number of quality audits and education for the sector.

"We are concerned about this and will be increasing the number of quality audits we do in 2023–24 and in 2024–25," the report said.

"We will also be increasing our education to the sector, building on five key risks in-home care and sector guidance on price capping regulation."

The lowest compliance rates were for Standard 8 – organisational governance – with only 75 per cent of home care services compliant compared to residential aged care's 90 per cent.

"Home services providers need to do more to make sure that they support their safe quality care with good governance," the report said.

Quality Standard 2 – ongoing assessment and planning with consumers – was also one of the lowest at 77 per cent.

The report stated that issues with Standard 2 also showed up in their complaints data.

"Complaints about case management, coordination, and care planning are 3 of the top 10 complaints we received about home services this quarter," it said.

Standard 1 and 3, consumer dignity and choice and personal care and clinical care, also declined by 6 per cent, with the report stating it was "closely watching this trend".

The report also showed neglect was the most reported incident at 57 per cent. However, ACQSC said data was not consistent due to under-reporting.

"Our review of the data suggests that there is still under-reporting of SIRS incidents
in-home services," the report said.

"We are working with providers in 2024 to remind them of their reporting responsibilities."

There was also a "concerning" 13 per cent increase of stealing and financial coercion, with the ACQSC noting it will expect providers to have systems in place to detect, respond, and prevent future incidents.

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