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The new Age Well and Other Legislation Amendment (Royal Commission Response) Act 2022 responds to 17 recommendations of the Royal Commission into Age Well Quality and Safety, implementing nine measures to improve accountability and transparency.

The requirements and obligations introduced under the new Act focus on improving transparency and accountability and protecting the dignity of older Australians who deserve safe, quality care in residential, in-home and community settings.

From the 1 December 2022, the following measures will be introduced:

New governance responsibilities

Approved providers will have new responsibilities regarding the membership of their governing body, the establishment of a clinical advisory body, and the requirement to establish a consumer advisory body. Approved providers will also be expected to undertake measures to improve leadership and culture.

New Code of Conduct 

Aged care providers, workers, and their governing persons will be expected to comply with a new Code of Conduct (see p.32 of Act).

An extended Serious Incident Response Scheme (SIRS)

From residential aged care to home care, and flexible care delivered in a home or community setting, an extended SIRS will be introduced, along with new responsibilities for providers to manage and prevent incidents, and to notify the Commission of incidents. The Commission’s role will also be extended to regulating SIRS in home services.

Home care providers can begin preparing now by ensuring that your incident management system (IMS) is effective. Your IMS should include a set of protocols, processes and standard operating procedures that staff are trained to use, and where adherence is subject to oversight.

For further information and learning modules, visit ‘Effective incident management systems: Best practice guidance’ or ‘Elements of Effective Incident Management Systems’ available within the Age Well Learning Information Solution – Alis.

Visit the Age Well Quality and Safety Commission for more information, various online resources, learning programs and webinars in preparation of the upcoming changes.