Recently we have been working with many small independent aged care providers, helping them prepare for Quality Reviews. One thing that stood out to us is the passion and ‘heart' that providers and their teams have for the work they do.

We know how much work small teams have to do to become and remain compliant, often wearing many hats because they don't have the benefit of support from ‘internal departments' like finance, IT and HR. Those that do can often find it challenging to engage the support they need due to a lack of awareness from other areas about what aged care services need to do to comply.

It has been a privilege to see great outcomes and how much relief and joy a successful review brings – not to mention building ongoing confidence and great care for clients.

If you or your team are looking for support, and a compliance climbing partner, we are always happy to have a free no-obligation chat.

Change continues to come from the Sector, and you can find out more about the latest news in this month's edition, including the postponement of the New Aged Care Act!

Climbers helping each other up a mountain

Latest CDCS Videos & Blog Posts

To respond to the needs of those working in the industry, CDCS has a range of blog posts on our website and videos that are freely available on our YouTube channel.

Introduction to Aged Care

We have uploaded the animated video series “Introduction to Aged Care” to our YouTube channel. The videos were developed in collaboration with East Arnhem Regional Council, iTalk and funded by the Department of Health and Aged Care.

To make it easy to find the videos and accompanying resources, we have set up this page on the CDCS website.

Click here to check out the videos >>

intro to aged care videos playlist

Industry News

All Sector Updates

Workforce Support for Rural and Remote Providers

Rural and remote aged care providers can use the Rural Locum Assistance Program (Rural LAP) to help with workforce changes.

The program provides support to providers impacted by sudden departures, vacant positions, annual leave and ongoing professional training.

Positions eligible for locum cover include:

  • registered and enrolled nurses
  • personal care workers
  • facility managers
  • allied health professionals.

Rural LAP helps find and recruit suitable locums, arranges and pays for travel, accommodation and incentives during their placement. Providers pay for the locum’s wages during placement.

Permanent relocation and retention incentive payments are also available.

To find out more, visit Rural LAP aged care services.

Resources for your Governing Body

The Governing for Reform program has a ‘For the Board Kit' aimed at helping management engage their governing body in discussions about key governance topics and issues relevant to the current aged care sector reforms.

Open Disclosure Resource updated

Open Disclosure is a key concept in the aged care industry. The Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission have updated their Open Disclosure resource aimed at helping consumers understand this concept and what to expect from their Aged Care Provider.

Legislation Updates

Delay to the new Aged Care Act – what does this mean?

The Federal Government has announced that there will be a delay to the introduction of the new Aged Care Act by 12 months. It is now proposed to commence 1st July 2025. The delay is to allow the government to continue its review of stakeholders’ input on the exposure draft, which was released for consultation in mid-December 2023.

The new Regulatory Framework could also be delayed as key components are linked to the introduction of the new Act. We could still see aspects of the framework introduced though.

The delay may impact the introduction of the Strengthened Aged Care Standards, however, the government does have the ability to introduce these in separate legislation prior to the new Act. As much of the work has been completed on the Standards review and new draft guidance material developed, an earlier adoption of the Standards is more likely.

The Standards Guidance Consultation for the Strengthened Standards ends on April 30 2024 if you want to have your say.

The Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission have also released a series of videos on the strengthened standards. Episode 3 covers an explanation of the main changes.

Restrictive Practice (session two) webinar recording

If you didn't have a chance to watch the session two Restrictive Practice webinar held in March, the Restrictive Practice 2 Webinar replay and Restrictive Practices 2 Webinar Slides are available.

Reports Due

Providers can now complete their Quarterly Financial Report (QFR) for quarter 3 -2023/24 (1 January – 31 March 2024) on the Government Provider Management System (GPMS). Reporting is due on 5 May 2024.

COVID Updates

General news about anything new stated/released by Govt and key links:

NOTE: The supply of personal protective equipment (PPE) and rapid antigen test (RAT) kits from the National Medical Stockpile will finish at the end of April 2024.

From 1 May 2024, providers will need to source PPE and RAT kits through commercial suppliers.

Home Care Updates

Future growth rounds

Two growth funding rounds for the Commonwealth Home Support Programme will be open shortly. If you are a provider requiring additional funding to address wait lists this will be an important opportunity. The funding, if successful, will extend through to 2027 when CHSP is planned to become part of the Care at Home Program.

CHSP Growth Funding 2024-25

CHSP Growth Funding 2024–25 Grant Opportunity will fund up to $100 million (excluding GST) in identified Aged Care Planning Regions for the following service types:

  • domestic assistance
  • allied health and therapy
  • transport services
  • home maintenance

Current CHSP providers, as well as service providers across aged care, disability, primary health and veterans care sectors are eligible to apply.

CHSP First Nations Growth Funding 2024-25

The CHSP First Nations Growth Funding 2024–25 Grant Opportunity will fund $10 million (excluding GST) to expand the delivery of culturally safe CHSP services for First Nations older people.

Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations with experience across aged care, disability and primary health care sectors are eligible to apply.

This grant is not open to current CHSP providers.

Residential Care Updates

Antimicrobial Stewardship Resources for Residential Aged Care

The Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission released a new resource on Antimicrobial Stewardship self-assessment and guidance in March this year.

Supporting People Living with Dementia and Infection Control Practices

It is always tricky getting the balance between IPC practices and caring for our older people living with cognitive impairment, however the ACQSC have produced IPC Cognitive Decline & Dementia supporting providers with interventions for safe IPC practices especially as we are coming into the cooler months.

QFR Reporting FAQs

The Department of Health and Aged Care has published a Quarterly Financial Report – Residential Care Labour Costs and Hours reportings FAQ to assist residential providers understand how to report on labour costs and hours correctly.

Publication of Quarter 3/2023 Data

This Quarterly Financial Report (QFR) webinar provided information about Quarter 3 reporting including tips for accurate reporting. The publication of provider finances and operations information on My Aged Care was also discussed.

Care Minute Reporting

Have you checked that your care minutes reporting is accurate? Are you keeping the supporting documents and able to make them available when requested?

The department will assess all approved providers by 1 April 2025, with all services being assessed at least once every 3 years. Every provider will have one of their services assessed in the first 18 months. The department understands that providers are refining their reporting processes and will apply procedural fairness if any issues are identified during an assessment.

If you would like to check, review the Care Time Reporting Assessments and ensure you are capturing data and reporting accurately.

GPMS User Guide

There is now a GPMS – User guide: Quarterly Financial Report to support providers.

Understanding STAR Ratings and Compliance

It has been reported that there is confusion around the star ratings and the impact of compliance. If you require further information check Star Ratings for RAC.

The Quarter One Sector Performance Webinar and Quarter One Sector Performance Report Slides are available if you missed this in March 2024.

ANZAC Day and Veterans Care

This month on 25 April, many people will gather to commemorate ANZAC day.

Across both Residential and Home Care, many older people, veterans and their families will reflect on their involvement, either in conflicts or peacekeeping roles.

There is information on the Department of Veterans page regarding services, as well as some stories like 98-year-old Peggy Martin who drove troop trucks for the British Army during the Second World War. Soldiers of 13CSSB in Perth invited Peggy and her friends and family along for an exclusive look at their workshop and heavy equipment which was heartwarming for Peggy and the soldiers. You can read more about Peggy here.

The Department of Veterans Affairs also has information for Indigenous Australians on their website, including how people can research family history and access veterans services, including aged care support and services.

Department and Commission Newsletter Links

If you haven't subscribed for Department updates, you can do so by clicking here to subscribe.

If you’re not already signed up, we recommend clicking through and signing up for the Commission’s valuable newsletter.

CDCS Roundup for Busy People Newsletter

If you have others in your team who would benefit from our monthly aged care roundup for busy people – they can sign up here.

Industry Training, Webinars & Events

Helping others with hand hygiene – video

The Aged Care Quality and Safety Commision have released a video that supports infection control practices in aged care for aged care workers called ‘Helping Others with Hand Hygiene’.

Understanding cost collection in aged care

The Independent Health and Aged Care Pricing Authority (IHACPA) is the agency that collects cost data from the aged care sector, consults with stakeholders and gathers evidence to provide pricing advice for:

  • residential aged care
  • residential respite care
  • Support at Home services

They are running a webinar to provide an overview of how cost collection works, how it benefits the aged care sector, and why sector participation is so important and how you can be involved.

Date: 12pm to 1pm AEST on Wednesday 24 April 2024

Register here >>

Ongoing workshops provided by the ACQ&SC

The Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission develops a range of educational resources and workshops for aged care providers, in-home services and residential services that assist in understanding what compliance looks like.

You can find these courses listed on the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission’s website under the Education tab.

Governing for Reform Webinars

The Governing for Reform program has been running for a number of years and is designed to help the Executive and Governing body of aged care organisations understand their roles and responsibilities and improve aged care oversight and management.

There are two upcoming webinars:

  • Wednesday 22 May / 12.00 – 1.00pm AEST – Activating environmental, social, governance and climate sustainability in aged care
  • Wednesday 19 June / 12.00 – 1.00pm AEST – Changing Values and Culture: A person-centred approach to quality care

Registration links are usually available two weeks in advance.

Funding Opportunities

Grant Reference

Name of Grant

Closing Date

Commonwealth Home Support Programme (CHSP) Funding Extension 2024-25

Eligible CHSP providers with a current 2023–24 grant agreement will receive an invitation to apply with details on the application process and steps to be taken.

CHSP providers will need to lodge their application via email to CHSPextension@health.gov.au before 2pm AEDT on 14 May 2024.

14 May 2024

Aged Care Services – Specialist Dementia Care Program

30 June 2024

Commonwealth Home Support Programme (CHSP) Ad hoc Proposals Extension

30 June 2024

For more information on any of these grants, refer to the GrantConnect website.

SDAP – Services Development Assistance Panel

Don’t forget, if you are an aged care provider (residential or community care) operating in rural or remote locations, you may be eligible for support through the Service Development Assistance Panel (SDAP).

CDCS has been a panel member since the inception of this program in 2010 and has supported over 40 aged care services with compliance, business development, training and resource development.

Get an idea of what can be done with SDAP.

Further information is available on the Department’s website, including the application form, or by emailing sdap@health.gov.au.

Jobs in Aged Care

Position

Organisation & Location

Closing Date

Hurstville, NSW – Muslim Care

until filled

Nhulunbuy – East Arnhem Regional Council

until filled

Angurugu – East Arnhem Regional Council

until filled

Wanarn – Ngaanyatjarra Health Service

26 August 2024

Wanarn – Ngaanyatjarra Health Service

26 August 2024

NOTE: If you have a position that you would like us to promote, please hit ‘reply’ to this email so we can include it in the next newsletter and/or post on our Facebook page: CDCS – Culturally Directed Care Solutions.

New In The TQP Members Resource Area

Total Quality Package logo - for aged care compliance

You’ll find a full list of the updated policies, procedures and other helpful resources that have been updated in the last month below. We're committed to helping your organisation meet compliance and deliver quality outcomes.

If you don't have access to the TQP and you’re looking for comprehensive, industry-specific policies, procedures and work instructions that have been used successfully by dozens of aged care providers, helping them to easily pass quality reviews and stay compliant, then take a look at the Total Quality Package.

Resource updates in the last month

Home Care Policies & Procedures

Client Service Provision:
High Impact and High Prevalence Risk Management V1 – download link was incorrect, error fixed

Quality & Compliance Tools

Audits:
Building & Maintenance Audit (Community Care) V3 – updated
Operational Management Audit V4 – updated
Governance and Executive Management Audit V4 – updated
Human Resources Audit (Management) V3 – updated
Work Health and Safety Audit (Management) V2 – updated

Management & Planning Tools

Planning:
Senior Management Off-Boarding Checklist V1 – new

Risk Planning & Operations Guides

Risk Assessment:
Community Care Off-Site Activities Risk Assessment Checklist V3 – updated

We hope you have found this edition helpful; feel free to share it with others who may be interested. If you have any feedback or questions, please let us know by emailing us at info@cdcs.com.au.

Please get in contact with us if you need support and we’ll catch up with you again next month.

Donna, Carrie & the CDCS Team

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Donna Cross & Carrie Akhurst
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