* 4 September 2023 *
From 1 December this year, existing aged care providers must establish and continue a Consumer Advisory Body that can help resolve any problems and improve care.
This is a new requirement resulting from the recommendations of the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety: aged care providers are required to have it in place by 1 December 2023.
The Aged Care Quality & Safety Commission’s fact sheet states: “Consumer advisory bodies can help fix problems and improve your care. They give you a way to talk about care and service quality with others and share this with your provider’s governing body.”
The intention of the advisory body is to ensure and strengthen positive consumer experiences and to provide valuable feedback to the governing body (our Board of Directors), giving community residents and clients a voice.
“We have made the decision to have five Consumer Advisory Bodies – one for each of our Residential Aged Care Homes and one for our Home Care Service,” says Annette Greenwood, General Manager Quality & Risk.
“This adds a further dimension to the consumer engagement activities already in place, such as the quarterly Consumer Engagement Forums, regular resident meetings with residential aged care community members, and regular surveys to all residents and home care clients.”
Membership of the Consumer Advisory Body is open to all aged care residents and home care clients, and their representatives.
It is important to have diversity on the Consumer Advisory Bodies so that all residents and clients are represented.
The advisory bodies will meet twice per year and minutes will be forwarded to the Board for their consideration and action.
“We are required to give every aged care resident and every home care client the opportunity to start or join a consumer advisory body,” says Annette. “Your Voice Matters – if you are interested, please speak to your Residential Manager (aged care residents) or to your Care Advisor (home care clients).”
General Manager Residential Services, Corinne Lyon is managing the process for residential aged care:
“We have reached out to our residents at each of our homes, seeking expressions of interest to become a member of the home’s Consumer Advisory Board. The memberships will be established in September with the first meetings planned for October. This is an exciting step forward, and builds on other ways our residents can provide their valuable feedback, to guide us on how we can improve our services.”
General Manager Community Services, Richard Davey is managing the process for home care clients:
“We have sent information to all our Home Care clients about the new opportunity and we are beginning to receive interest. As with residential aged care, we will be arranging meetings for later this year and looking forward to feedback that will help us continuously improve our services to you.”