Aged Care Reforms Now In Effect
Belvedere Aged Care welcomes measures aimed at improving accountability and transparency in aged care. The Aged Care and Other Legislation Amendment (Royal Commission Response) Act 2022 introduces measures that cover:
• introducing an Aged Care Code of Conduct and
• strengthening provider governance.
Code of Conduct
The Aged Care Code of Conduct came into effect on 1 December 2022. The code sets out how providers and workers delivering care are expected to behave. This is intended to strengthen protections for residents and includes the ability to ban individuals who breach the Code from working in the aged care sector.
The Code reflects what is already in place under the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) and aligns with the principles in the Aged Care Quality Standards. It applies to all approved providers and their governing persons and aged care workers.
All members of the Belvedere Team from the Management, the Administration Team, Nurses, Lifestyle Team, Care Workers, Catering and Environmental Services are required to understand and comply with the provisions of the Code and collectively put reasonable steps in place that enable workers to comply.
Strengthening Provider Governance & key personnel suitability
Strategies to strengthen provider governance for existing approved providers being introduced include assessing and reporting on the suitability of key personnel.
Key personnel is defined as “anyone involved in planning, directing or controlling the organisation’s activities such as governing body members, managers and those responsible for nursing services whether or not the person is employed by the organisation”.
Key Personnel at Belvedere Aged Care include the Director of Belvedere Aged Care Pty Ltd, the Director of Nursing and the Deputy Director of Nursing.
From 1 December 2022, all existing approved providers will be required to consider the suitability of their key personnel at least once a year and report on any material changes within 14 days (this was previously 28 days). Key personnel are obliged to immediately advise the provider of matters that may impact their suitability from 1 Dec 2022.
Changes identified on or after 1 Dec 2022 must be reported within 14 days effective from 1 Dec 2022.
To be considered suitable a person performing these key roles must fulfil criteria such as:
• not having an NDIS banning order in force, a conviction for an indictable offence, civil penalty order against them or an adverse finding or enforcement action under any Commonwealth, State or Territory law or body (e.g. ASIC, ACNC, ACCC, APRA etc.) and
• are not insolvent, subject to any findings or judgement of fraud, misinterpretation or dishonesty or disqualified under the Corporations Act 2001.
Under this legislative change, the Commission’s functions will be expanded to include compliance actions which may include a civil penalty or banning order against the provider and/or individuals if key personnel assessed to be unsuitable continue to perform their duties.
This requirement applies to all approved providers.