Conference Abstracts

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Fragile facility? Who’re you going to call?

McDonald, T. A. & Smallwood, W., 2011

ACAA Conference WORKSHOP, Adelaide


Background: Regulatory non-compliance is undoubtedly the most significant risk faced by aged care providers, and the follow-on consequences of non-compliance can devastate all concerned. Successful recovery may depend on who you call. We refer to organisations deemed non-compliant as ‘fragile facilities’ because they are temporarily less capable of meeting demands placed on them by government, the general public or clients. In this fragile state a facility needs to get expert help if it is to be returned to a strong and viable service. When judged as posing a serious risk to residents, an organisation needs urgent, effective action to ensure resident and staff safety, and continue as an approved service. Ignorance of the law is not a defence and every provider of aged care services should know what is required in delivering services as well as fully understanding legal and other consequences of failing to satisfy requirements. Informed providers can take preventive steps before problems arise that could result in non-compliance. Providers also need to understand how to work most effectively with their nurse advisor if the need arises.

Objective: The aim of the presentation was to acquaint conference attendees with the issues that prompt regulatory sanctions and also the role of the government-appointed nurses advisor who will take over the management of the facility while under sanction and guide them in returning it to regulatory compliance.

Methods and results: In this session, a review of legal and other documentation related to the Aged Care Act and Principles will prompt an interactive session on common routes leading to sanctions and serious risk declarations are identified along with expectations of all involved in response processes. Benefits of experience in advising fragile facilities will be shared plus insights into on-site investigative approaches used by assessors and appointed nurse advisors.

Conclusions: A broad guide to strategies for strengthening a sanctioned situation; achieving sustainable compliance; and delivering safe and effective care and services will be developed with the group.

CITATION McDonald T & Smallwood, W. (2011) Fragile facility? Who’re you going to call? Aged Care Association Australia National congress, Adelaide 14-17 November


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