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Understanding the Standards

The Aged Care Quality Standards focus on outcomes for those people using their services. They make it easier for consumers, their families, carers and representatives to understand what they can expect from a service.

All aged care services are expected to deliver quality care. Standards are documents that set out specifications, procedures and guidelines that aim to ensure products, services, and systems are safe, consistent, and reliable. Standards make it explicit what consumers and community can expect from organisations providing Commonwealth subsidised aged care.

Standards are part of a framework that support care provision and monitoring. All organisations need to be able to demonstrate their performance against these standards. Other examples of approaches building quality in aged care are the Charter of Aged Care Rights and the Mandatory Quality Indicator Program.

palliAGED InFocus: Aged Care Standards and palliative care

Only Standard 3 explicitly mentions palliative care. However, the standards speak to the fundamental aspects of care including palliative care needs and care at the end of life.

Our InFocus series examines how palliative care interplays with each of the Standards. For each standard we reviewed the evidence and explored the issues around care for someone coming to the end of life. We also highlighted palliAGED information and resources that individuals and services can use to deliver quality care and to guide and report on the use of the standards in practice.

Standard 1: Consumer Dignity and Choice

Dignity includes maintaining identity and control as fully as possible, even at the end of life. Physical and psychosocial care can help the person to focus on what matters to them. Read more about Standard 1.

Standard 2: Ongoing assessment and planning with consumers

Recognising end of life and identifying palliative care needs can ensure that the right mix of care is available and that the person’s voice is heard in planning care Read more about Standard 2.

Standard 3: Personal care and clinical care

Standard 3 explicitly states the need to address end-of-life care in Requirement (3) (c). It emphasises that dying, and death are not just a biological or medical event but a human experience. Read more about Standard 3.

Standard 4: Services and supports for daily living

Maintaining function and independence, autonomy and dignity is important to older people even in the end of life context. Read more about Standard 4.

Standard 5: Organisation’s service environment

In the last year of life people are still living. An environment where they feel safe and confident and have space and facilities that provide for their needs and enables involvement of friends and family is needed. Read more about Standard 5.

Standard 6: Feedback and complaints

In the last year of life the person and their family can provide critical feedback on what matters and what makes a difference. Read more about Standard 6.

Standard 7: Human resources

Older people who are coming to the end of their life require sensitive, supportive, and skilled care. Many people may be involved of providing care depending on the person’s individual needs so coordination of care is important. Read more about Standard 7.

Standard 8: Organisational governance

Quality care at the end of life is important in the last months and weeks of life as well as during the period when the person is dying. Good governance processes are critical in ensuring that there is a respectful culture, good clinical practices, and appropriate accountability. Read more about Standard 8.
 

Using palliAGED resources in your service

The following palliAGED resources can help services provide quality care and support standards review:

  • The Practice Tip sheets and the palliAGED modules support a capable and informed workforce. Making education and training about end of life and palliative care routine in your services contributes to many of the standards
  • Downloadable tools and resources can support awareness of issues relating to clinical care
  • Providing information and links to older people and their families can support consumer feedback and reporting processes related to standards assessment.

End of life is part of life and aged care is involved in caring for older people coming to the end of life of their life. The Standards can help ensure the care provided addresses all care needs including palliative care and care at the end of life.

Page created 13 May 2021