The peak bodies representing Australia’s aged care industry today said residential aged care providers strive to provide the highest quality of care to older Australians while continuously improving on standards of care.

This is achieved through the dedicated work of 370,000 carers and nurses and the full range of aged care staff around the country.

Sean Rooney, CEO Leading Age Services Australia, said: “We have a good aged care system and a good system can always get better. The care of our residents is paramount to all providers and their staff. As an industry, we strive to continuously improve services to ensure all older Australians get the high-quality care they need and deserve.”

Pat Sparrow, CEO of Aged and Community Services Australia added that all residential aged care facilities, including those in Queensland, are regularly audited against the aged care quality standards and are required to address any quality issues where they occur.

“Like any human service, there are isolated incidents where errors and oversights occur and the community should be assured that the regulatory processes function to identify and remedy those,” Ms. Sparrow said.

The joint peaks said recent media reports focus on quality concerns in a small number of Queensland residential aged care facilities and note that currently 10 of 445 Queensland residential aged care facilities are responding to the Accreditation Agency about improving a particular aspect of their service.

The peaks also noted that an aged care workforce with the right temperament, skills and flexibility is crucial to delivering high-quality care outcomes. As such, aged care providers ensure their facilities are staffed according to flexible staffing models that can deliver the right level of staffing and a mix of skills appropriate to regularly changing occupancy levels and the needs of residents at each individual site.

“Given these variables, a flexible staffing mix, paired with a stringent quality control system, can deliver the best quality of care targeted at individual care needs,” peak leaders said jointly.

The peaks said they remain prepared to work with the Government and the Unions and other stakeholders to ensure the community has trust and confidence in the care provided, acknowledging the financial and environmental realities within which aged care providers are operating.

“Ultimately, service providers, government and the wider community all share a desire for a high-performing aged care sector.”