Quality Framework for Services Funded under the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Flexible Aged Care Program

In September 2008 the Minister for Ageing, the Hon Justine Elliot MP, announced the release of the Australian Government’s Aboriginal aged care plan.

An important part of the plan is the development of a culturally appropriate quality framework for services funded under the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Flexible Aged Care Program.

Australian Healthcare Associates (AHA) in partnership with Yaran Business Services, has been engaged by the Department of Health and Ageing to work with providers of Flexible Aged Care services to develop the quality framework.

What is a culturally appropriate Quality Framework?
This framework will include:
  • Quality standards. A minimum set of standards or guidelines for services. The standards will focus on the delivery and continuity of care.
  • A process for checking services against the standards, and for planning and making improvement where necessary.

The framework will be specifically designed to suit the 29 flexible aged care services in Australia. It will be appropriate for the services provided under this program, and will reflect clients’ needs and culture. It will also be a practical and useful process that will assist services to ensure quality on an ongoing basis. Input and help from flexible services is needed to ensure that the framework is appropriate and practical.

One day forum of flexible aged care services

The first step in the project is to conduct a series of one-day forums around Australia, to meet with all flexible aged care services to hear and discuss their views about the quality framework. Managers, direct care workers and a board member from each service will be invited to attend a forum with other flexible aged care services from their region.

The purpose of the day is to obtain the views and input of all flexible aged care services about the planned quality framework. Services will be able to discuss and share their views, both through group situations with other services, smaller groups and individual one-on-one conversations.

Forums will be conducted during August and September 2009, and services will be contacted directly to invite their participation. Services which are unable to attend will be consulted with individually.

What will happen after the forum?
The information and views obtained at the forums will help in the development of draft standards and options for the framework. Service providers will be asked to provide feedback on these drafts.

The draft standards and framework will be trialled, at ten flexible aged care services, to see how well they work and what changes are needed. This will include working with, and visiting each of, the ten services and providing training and support to assist them.

What we learn from the trial will be included in the final framework and quality standards. The 19 flexible aged care services that were not involved in the trial will then be assessed under the new framework. This will become an ongoing process and will be part of a range of supports being introduced to assist communities to care for their older people.

Who can I contact if I have any questions?

Please contact us at AHA:
Email: flexicare@ahaconsulting.com.au
Phone: 1300 788 667, Speak to: Rossi Lyons; Richard Stock or Victor Rigney

If you have a complaint about any aspect of this project, we invite you to contact the Project Director, Ms Norma Currie. The complaints process, including contact details, is available here.

We look forward to working with all stakeholders to develop a quality framework that is both practical and culturally appropriate, and which will assist Flexible Aged Care services to ensure the quality of their services on an ongoing basis.