The report below was originally published in our Annual Report 2018 / 2019.
Over the past twelve months, we have reviewed staffing levels across all departments. Registered Nursing hours’ have increased to meet the changing needs of our residents and to provide greater support to our skilled care staff. Staffing ratios do not work and as we know by experience, they merely increase costs without guaranteeing an increase in quality to residents. They should never be used as a ‘tick box’ approach to simply benefit a few who wish to make political statements. At Allambie Heights Residential Aged Care Facility, we have consistently reviewed staffing levels, skills and experience and we will continue to do so. Our Housekeeping Team are working across 7 days and our laundry service is operational 7 days a week having increased their staffing hours. Our Maintenance Team’s hours have also been increased.
Recreation is a really important aspect of services offered here at Allambie Heights Residential Aged Care Facility and has been increased until 9.00pm, 7 days a week. Our recreational activities programme is inclusive and is also tailored to individuals’ needs. We continue to utilise our amazing volunteers who are invaluable in the service that they provide.
Our external Physiotherapy Contractor provides physiotherapy to our residents by way of group exercises and individual assessments. Physiotherapy is also offered to residents four times a week who are part of the pain reduction program by two physiotherapists who use PainChek software for residents who have poor communication ability.
This program is having a positive impact on residents who have suffered with chronic pain. We are finding that this service has contributed to reducing the amount of oral pain relief medication that some residents are taking and a reduction in such medication being prescribed by general practitioners and psycho-geriatricians as we better understand the needs and behaviours presented by residents with poor communication ability.
‘Staffing ratios do not work’
Compassion and Skilled Care
Over the past year we said a fond farewell to 12 of our long-standing residents. This has been a difficult time for both residents and staff. Staff have been aware that residents within the residential aged care facility are feeling the loss of friends and have been respectful and helpful to those people feeling such loss. Of the 12 residents who died, 11 of them died here within our residential aged care facility. This is a great testament to the Care and Nursing staff who managed our residents to the end of their lives with great respect and dignity. I acknowledge all of the Team who in their own way went about their roles with sensitivity and support at these times.
Our Residential Aged Care Facility is as ever in demand and we have experienced high levels of resident occupancy during the year. Our respite care service has also been active and bookings are taken for many months ahead. We have bi-monthly meetings with residents throughout the year and circulate minutes of these meetings which demonstrate high levels of satisfaction from residents about our services across all of our teams.
Our meetings with relatives of our residents during the year were enjoyable and engaging. I was joined for an evening event by some of my colleagues. This involved sharing information about some of our developments, to answer questions and to receive feedback. We also discussed the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety and the formation of the Australian Government’s Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission which since 2019 will be the regulatory authority for residential aged care facilities across Australia and which replaced the Australian Government’s Aged Care Quality Agency.
‘The invasive amount of regulation and audit processes that we face as an Industry’
Industry Changes, the Resident is First Always
I refer to last year’s Report where I touched on the invasive amount of regulation and audit processes that we face as an Industry. The Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission introduced on 1 July 2019, a new set of 8 Standards (previously 4 Standards) and 42 Requirements (previously 44 Outcomes) against which all of our services and quality are measured for compliance. These measurements must also be achieved when an Operator applies for a Licence to operate a residential aged care which occurs every 3 years.
In preparation for these immense Industry changes, we commenced familiarising our management team and staff in November 2018 and provided full training for all staff employed by Allambie Heights Village Ltd. during April and May 2019. Some of our Directors joined us in the training sessions. The training covered all aspects of the new requirements and staff are now conversant in what each Standard represents and how it must be met. With this in mind, we are adapting some of our processes to reflect the very positive recognition of customer service which we focus on always with our residents at all levels of our Company.
On 21 February 2019, we received an unannounced site audit from the new Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission. This was conducted throughout the day by one of the Commission’s Assessors who was in the process of transitioning as are all Commission Assessors from the older system to the newer one. We received a very positive report. We welcome such audits to shine and to present the very best of what we do. We are always open to feedback from all persons and we are keen to continue to make our services better for our residents, staff and visitors.
The past 12 months have been a very exciting time at Allambie Heights Village Residential Care Facility. I can honestly say that it is a great pleasure to work within such a caring environment and with an exceptional team.
‘A great testament to the Care and Nursing staff’