Complaints regarding aged care services have increased, while the number of providers failing to meet quality standards has decreased, according to the latest performance report from the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission.
During the January-March 2023 quarter, a total of 2,446 complaints were lodged against aged care services. Of these, 1,316 were related to residential care, 1,102 to home care, and 28 to flexible care.
Medication administration and management received the highest number of complaints, totalling 175.
The majority of complaints were made by family members or representatives of residents, followed by anonymous sources and other individuals. The commission resolved 1,384 complaints related to residential aged care during the quarter.
The commission also received 12,793 reportable incidents during the period, with unreasonable use of force being the most commonly reported incident, accounting for 7,704 cases. In response to these incidents, the commission took various regulatory actions, including monitoring and engagement, directed actions to providers, investigations, and enforceable regulatory measures.
Site audits were conducted to assess providers’ compliance with their aged care responsibilities and the Aged Care Quality Standards. New South Wales received the highest number of audits, followed by Victoria, Queensland, and other states. Non-compliance with one or more quality standards decreased from 133 to 88 during the quarter.
Complaints against home care providers continued to rise, with 1,102 recorded during the period. The most common issues raised were lack of consultation or communication, fees and charges, and reimbursements. Care recipients and their representatives constituted the majority of complainants. The commission concluded 1,042 complaints related to home care during the quarter and conducted 121 quality audits, resulting in 36 instances of non-compliance.
Throughout the period, 45 non-compliance notices were lodged against home care providers, indicating ongoing efforts to maintain and improve quality standards in the sector.