Response to external clinical audits of residential aged care services

Regional local health networks (LHNs) are the largest provider of residential aged care services in regional South Australia. The health, safety and wellbeing of our aged care residents is of paramount importance. All of our aged care facilities consistently maintain high levels of care, and we are committed to openness and transparency about our services and the quality of care we provide.

In 2018, Standards Wise was engaged by the State Government to undertake clinical audits of all residential aged care services operated by the then Country Health SA Local Health Network. The purpose of the audits was to provide a strong basis for regional LHNs to make improvements in our governance and operational strategies, as well as to improve our systems and processes for aged care.

The Standards Wise External Clinical Audits for Residential Aged Care Service Final Report (PDF 777KB) provides 14 overall recommendations with additional recommendations for each regional LHN, which identify key opportunities for improvement. Each of the six regional LHNs has developed an implementation plan in response to the overall and region-specific recommendations. They are working plans that will be regularly updated to reflect progress in implementing actions in response to the recommendations. Each aged care facility also received an individual report and action plan following the audit of their site. As a result, regional LHNs have developed site-specific plans for the 44 facilities. The regional implementation plans and site-specific plans will ensure that high quality residential aged care services continue to be provided by regional LHNs across country South Australia.

Following the external audits, there were a number of facilities that required a follow-up visit and Standards Wise noted the following improvements which are being undertaken by regional LHNs:

  • Greater oversight by clinical staff of consumers’ clinical and care needs, medication management and the utilisation of unregulated staff.
  • Improved assessment and planning processes to develop, document, implement, monitor and audit care plans.

  • Review of services, processes, and environmental changes in order to meet the new Aged Care Quality Standards.

  • Increased lifestyle hours to further develop valuable synergies between clinical and lifestyle staff.

  • Improving risk management strategies and mitigating potential risks, including issues around residents smoking.

  • Support from Regional Quality Teams reviewing and seeking opportunities for improvement with processes, documentation and reporting requirements.

  • Additional management support providing positive, proactive leadership and support, building the team culture.

  • Reviews of, commitments to, and refurbishment work on, the physical environment.

The regional implementation plans and site-specific plans are available below.

Residents of aged care facilities and their families should contact their facility directly if they have any questions.

Regional Implementation Plans

Site Action Plans

Barossa Hills Fleurieu Local Health Network

Eyre and Far North Local Health Network

Flinders and Upper North Local Health Network

Limestone Coast Local Health Network

Riverland Mallee Coorong Local Health Network

Yorke and Northern Local Health Network