The Stars Are Out

One of the changes foreshadowed by the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality & Safety was the introduction of a new star grading system for aged care facilities.

The ratings have been finalised and submitted to the facilities ahead of them being made publicly available in the very near future. The early release is so that facilities have an opportunity to consider the gradings, and, if the rating is unfavourable, engage with residents and their loved ones ahead of the public release of the gradings.

Grading has been allocated based on 4 broad criteria:

  • Resident experience – this has involved Aged Care Quality & Safety Commission (“Commission”) staff interviewing residents about their experiences in the facility.
  • Compliance – whether the facility has been subject to non-compliance decisions of the Commission.
  • Staffing – whether the amount of care minutes being provided to residents exceeds targets set by the Commission.
  • Quality measures – the facility’s performance on issues such as falls and major injury, unplanned weight loss, pressure injuries, medication management and the use of physical restraints.

Facilities have been graded between 1 to 5 stars.

A facility graded with 1 star is categorised as “significant improvement” needed.

2 stars means “improvement is needed”, 3 stars is “acceptable”, 4 stars is “good” and 5 stars is “excellent”.

    • 1 per cent of all aged care facilities in Australia received one star
  • 9 per cent received two stars
  • 59 per cent received three stars
  • 30 per cent received four stars
  • 1 per cent received five stars

The ratings will be updated at different times. Residents’ Experience will be updated annually. However, Compliance will be updated daily. Staffing and Quality Measures outcomes will be updated every 3 months.

The overall Star Rating will recalculate and update automatically when new data becomes available.

It is important to remember that this grading system is not the same as hotel grading systems with which we may be more familiar. Those are heavily weighted in favour of the amenities provided whereas this system is evidently more heavily weighted in favour of care outcomes. It will not be surprising to see some relatively modest facilities outscore newer and far better-appointed facilities.

Although this grading system is likely to have its teething problems, and may well be found to be imperfect, any system which empowers and educates residents and their loved ones, is to be encouraged and is likely to result in better care outcomes.

To stay up to date with Aged Care News you can also visit Aged Care Quality


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All About Aged Care

An aged care consulting and advisory service in Perth that specialises in aged care placement.

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