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Interacting with the Code of Conduct for Aged Care: A Guide for Carers

Are you aware of the new Support at Home act that introduces a Code of Conduct for Aged Care? This Code is not just a list of guidelines; it’s a set of eight obligations that every approved provider, governing person, and aged care worker must strictly adhere to. These obligations are the cornerstone to providing safe, respectful, and quality care to every consumer.

As a carer, why is it important to understand these obligations? Because they directly impact the quality of care your loved one receives. By knowing the standards and guidelines that service providers are required to follow, you can ensure that your loved one is receiving respectful, dignified, and safe care.

Now, a quick question: Do you think this Code applies only to aged care providers? If you do, think again! The Code extends to their workers and governing persons too. In fact, approved providers are entrusted with the responsibility of ensuring their workers and governing persons are complying with the Code.

Here are some of the obligations that the services providers you work with are required to adhere to. They must:

  1. Act with respect for people’s rights to freedom of expression, self-determination and decision making in accordance with applicable laws and conventions.
  2. Act in a way that treats people with dignity and respect and values their diversity.
  3. Act with respect for the privacy of people.
  4. Provide care, supports and services in a safe and competent manner, with care and skill.
  5. Act with integrity, honesty, and transparency.
  6. Promptly take steps to raise and act on concerns about matters that may impact the quality and safety of care, supports and services.
  7. Provide care, supports and services free from all forms of violence, discrimination, exploitation, neglect, abuse, and sexual misconduct.
  8. Take all reasonable steps to prevent and respond to all forms of violence, discrimination, exploitation, neglect, abuse, and sexual misconduct.

The Commission has issued a Code of Conduct for Aged Care (Notice) to identify non-compliant behaviours with the Code. This includes:

  • complaints and feedback;
  • reportable incident notifications under the Serious Incident Response Scheme;
  • interviews with consumers and families;
  • documents or information provided about compliance with the Code;
  • notifications of material changes for aged care providers;
  • financial reports and Annual Prudential Compliance Statements;
  • performance assessments against the Aged Care Quality Standards;
  • investigations;
  • media reports; and
  • referrals from other regulators (e.g. NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission or Australia Health Practitioner Regulation Agency).

If you have any questions or concerns about how these obligations are being implemented, don’t hesitate to reach out to our Carer Wellness at Home team for guidance and support.

To enquire more about this service, contact wellnessprogram@carerswa.asn.au or 1300 227 377. Stay tuned for more updates on the aged care reform by visiting our Aged Care Reform Information page, here.