With aged care reforms focusing on delivering safety, dignity, quality and humanity for older Australians, we acknowledge that there is a need for strong governance and leadership practices to implement the reforms and achieve the cultural change required. Therefore, governing body members and executive leaders must understand the changes in the sector so that they can comply with regulatory obligations, ask the right questions, understand the impacts of their decisions, and identity opportunities to innovate, to deliver service excellence, and ultimately improve outcomes for consumers.
In this article, we talk with Elizabeth about past and future impacts of reforms in the care sector. In addition, given her role at Australian Multicultural Community Services, we discussed how leaders can deliver inclusive and culturally appropriate care.
1. Over the last 20 years, what have been the most impactful reforms you've seen in the aged care sector?
There have been many reforms, for example the development of various levels for the Home Care Package program and opening that program to full market competition, increase in consumer-directed-care, greater support for dementia care, and greater funding for aged care advocacy. Recently, there has also been a significant shift into with a greater focus on clinical care and governance, as a result of the Aged Care Quality Standards.
2. What would you consider to be the biggest impacts our current reform journey will have on consumers in the future?
I believe consumers in the future will need to have greater digital skills given how much information is only available online and while the current reforms are aiming for greater efficiency and effectiveness. I hope that the forthcoming reforms will result in greater consumer responsiveness and expectations being met and that the processes and systems will be easier for consumers to navigate.
3. How does Australian Multicultural Community Services look to deliver inclusive and culturally appropriate care? From this, what are the lessons executive leaders and board members in the care sector could take onboard?
First and foremost, for all of us at the Australian Multicultural Community Services, we aim to respond appropriately to each person’s individual needs. Our experience suggests that this is the best approach when aiming to deliver inclusive and culturally appropriate care. A ‘one size fits all’ style does not result in inclusive care, for example providing services for rural, remote and regional areas of Australia needs to be modified, as needed. Further, being inclusive and providing culturally appropriate care is an important requirement under the Aged Care Quality Standards in that all aged care provider governing bodies are responsible for ensuring that the organisations that they govern are compliant.
If you would like to hear more from Elizabeth, enrol in the Governing for Reform in Aged Care Program today and listen to the Service Excellence: Driving Towards Innovation and Change webinar recording: Webinar (agedcarequality.gov.au)
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