In what is the most comprehensive dataset ever compiled to describe the current state of play in relation to the quality of aged care, the Royal Commission has today released detailed research that presents over 50-quality indicators, including how the results are distributed across facilities.
In the research paper, the indicators are analysed using statistical methods, including tests for significance. Many indicators show significant differences between types of residential aged care facilities.
Around 57% of aged care facilities in Australia are operated by not-for-profit organisations, 34% are operated by for-profit organisations, and just 9% are operated by Government organisations. Government-run facilities showed the best average results for 31 indicators, compared to 2 indicators for not-for-profit facilities and 1 indicator for the for-profit facilities. Non-profit facilities had stronger average results than for-profit facilities on 25 indicators, whereas for-profit facilities had stronger average results on 2 indicators.
When it came to the workforce indicator and staff minutes worked per resident per facility in 2018/19 financial year; ‘Government-run’ facilities showed the best results, with an average of 229 minutes worked by direct staff per resident, compared to 184 minutes for not for profit and for-profit facilities. Staff assessed under this criteria are those involved in direct care of residents including care management, nurses, personal care workers, allied health and lifestyle staff.
The indicators were compiled by the Office of the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety using granular datasets collected in different parts of the aged care system. The datasets were acquired under the legal authority of the Royal Commission and have not been available to researchers before. The findings are presented in Research Paper 15 – Residential Care Quality Indicator Profile which is available on the Royal Commission’s website.
The indicators relate to topics such as clinical outcomes, compliance, complaints, reporting of assaults and missing residents, consumer experience, and the aforementioned workforce levels.
Small facilities with 1–30 residential places showed the best average results for 24 indicators. Small sized facilities comprise just 11% of aged care facilities in Australia, whereas around 26% have 31-60 places, 32% have 61-100 places, and 31% have over 100 places.