Why CPSA started this blog

CPSA-logo-4colour-stacked_1This blog canvases CPSA’s concerns about the quality of residential aged care, focusing on the Aged Care Standards and Accreditation Agency (the Agency) and the Aged Care Complaints Scheme (the Scheme). These bodies, in theory, ensure that homes meet a minimum standard of care and that episodes of poor care are picked up and acted on by the Department of Health and Ageing. However, in practice, they often fail to uphold these minimum standards.

In CPSA’s experience, and much to the chagrin of thousands of care recipients and their families, the Agency and the Scheme have failed to promote and uphold quality care in many aged care facilities. Reports of poor care are regularly brought to the public’s attention, often in fully-accredited homes. The accreditation process is broadly acknowledged to be insufficient, partly because of the standards that it bases its audits on, and partly because it looks at processes and systems rather than actual care provided. Furthermore, homes are given up to three months’ notice of accreditation visits that look at all 44 care standards, giving them ample time to put their best foot forward for the inspectors.

Many complainants of substandard care express dissatisfaction and frustration at the Aged Care Complaints Scheme. Even in cases where a complaint has led to the Department finding fault with the facility, it is common to hear that shortly after the complaint being ‘resolved’, the home has reverted to poor care standards. In these cases, complainants are often too tired or disillusioned to go through the complaints process again and give up.

This blog highlights some of the reasons why the system is failing to protect people living in nursing homes from poor care. It uses case studies to show how complaints are processed and how matters raised by complaints come to be ignored. It also draws from cases of poor care and how such cases were not picked up by either the Agency or the Complaints Scheme.

CPSA does not believe that all homes provide poor care. CPSA also believes that the majority of nursing home staff are dedicated individuals and committed to ensuring that nursing home residents get the care they deserve. In CPSA’s experience, poor care often results from insufficient staffing, poor management and reliance on inadequately trained staff.

CPSA is a non-profit, non-party-political membership association founded in 1931 which serves pensioners of all ages, superannuants and low-income retirees.
CPSA has 130 Branches and affiliated organisations with a combined membership of over 29,000 people living throughout NSW.  CPSA’s aim is to improve the standard of living and well-being of its Members and constituents.
Check out CPSA’s website at cpsa.org.au

3 responses to “Why CPSA started this blog

  1. The Accreditation Agency is a quasi-government organisation which serves one, sole shareholder – the Minister. It exists to provide pleasing statistics for the Minister to quote. It is very successful.

    The Aged Care Complaints Scheme overtly offends all principles of natural justice. It’s an equally fertile source of pleasing statistics.
    And that’s all we need to know about each of them.

    Bless you, CPSA, for trying – but I don’t see potential for change in aged care without advocates such as CPSA becoming much tougher, more targeted, and willing to call individuals to account.

    WHY is there “… insufficient staffing, poor management and reliance on inadequately trained staff” (it’s not government, which contributes $11b public funds a year, and rising, to aged care).
    WHO stands to gain from keeping poor managers and powerless staff on the floor of facilities (certainly not government).
    WHAT enables them to do so … HOW do they manage to divert so much money away from direct care of the aged and into, let’s be blunt, their and their mates’ pockets.
    And, WHO is going to call them to account if not for advocates such as CPSA?

    The Aged Care Act of 1997 enabled a small clique of bad eggs to capture aged care, and there’s now only two things that government can do to improve things – dismantle the secrecy (too often dressed up as “confidentiality” in aged care) – and devolve power back to a more local level.

  2. Janine has said it all. The trouble is no organisation will form an alliance with another to create a united front and challenge the Government and demand change. That is why years roll on and
    nothing changes as every organisation rolls it’s own individual barrel and does not concentrate on the common good – the public interest –
    for every single individual who is vulnerable and helpless once incarcerated in these institutions. Staff ratios of 1-8 during the day and 1 to 24 during the night cannot provide any worthwhile care. These ratios should have a Govt. mandate of 1-4 during the day and 1-6 during the night. That will never happen because nursing homes are businesses and every owner, CEO,Manager et al wants a hefty pay packet and they can only get that by engaging a minimum workforce on a barely minimum wage. Not one of the organisations who purport to advocate for improved conditions for the aged and infirm is willing to mount a challenge.

    The facts are, until strong alliances are formed with a determination to
    bring about reforms the same complains will be heard for another thirty years. God help us all!

  3. Pingback: Useful web sites | NURSE BLOG INTERNATIONAL·

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