Industry will work with government to put resident safety and care first

Release date: 18 Jan 2019

ACSA condemns all instances of inappropriate restraint in aged care and says it will work closely with the federal government to make sure new regulations regarding restraint put resident safety and care first.

“The industry has a zero tolerance for abuse and neglect where it occurs, and we are committed to continuous improvement to address problems as they arise,” Pat Sparrow, CEO of ACSA said.

“We will work closely with the federal government to ensure new regulations regarding restraint put resident health and care first.

“The required standard is that the first line of response to behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia should be the use of psychosocial approaches, but it is also recognised that the use of psychotropic medicines may be necessary in some circumstances, due to extreme distress or severe behavioural symptoms of dementia.

“Importantly, psychotropic medication can only be prescribed by a Medical Practitioner. Psychotropic medication should only be used following comprehensive assessment, administered in appropriate dosages and with ongoing monitoring, reassessment, and evaluation for side effects and to determine effectiveness.

“Most of all, next of kin and guardians should be consulted where possible when use of psychotropic medication is considered and consent obtained in accordance with relevant legislation.

“Incidents of poor practice overshadow the good work being done by the many excellent aged care providers around the country – indeed all those in the industry committed to quality care.

“The Royal Commission will be positive for the industry and an opportunity for a national discussion to continue to drive delivery of positive outcomes for older Australians and the nation’s aged care system.

“We are committed to working with the government and the new Commission to ensure the regulatory system functions reflect and apply the principles of safety and quality of life at all times,” Ms Sparrow said.

ACSA members have been involved in the RedUSe Project – a national project that promotes the appropriate use of sedatives, in particular antipsychotics and benzodiazepines, in Residential Aged Care Facilities (RACFs) in Australia.

As the peak body representing church, charitable and community-based organisations providing accommodation and care services to older people, people with a disability and their carers, ACSA can be contacted for comment on issues affecting the industry.

Areas ACSA may provide media commentary on include:  

  • Aged care reforms
  • Residential aged care
  • Home care
  • Independent and retirement living
  • Housing for older Australians
  • Palliative care
  • The aged care workforce in Australia


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