Outcomes from the SIRS for in-home services consultation

An older man and younger man sit next to each other on a couch. The younger man wears latex gloves and is wrapping a bandage around the older man’s forearm. The older man smiles at the younger man.

Who we heard from

In July and August 2021, the department asked for feedback on the design of the Serious Incident Response Scheme (SIRS) for in-home aged care. Stakeholder feedback was sought through four stakeholder workshops and through a public online survey on the department’s Consultation Hub.

We received valuable feedback from a wide variety of interested parties including providers of in-home aged care, peak bodies, members of the aged care workforce, senior Australians and their families.

What we heard

You support the expansion of the SIRS to in-home aged care services.

You told us that the SIRS for in-home services should align as much as possible with the SIRS operating in residential aged care, while considering the specific differences for in-home aged care services.

You support the proposed reportable incident categories for the SIRS for in-home aged care, but suggest the definitions need to be clearer than they are in residential aged care. You said you need clear and consistent guidance to help understand what is and isn’t a ‘reportable incident’.

You want communications for providers, workers, consumers, and their families to ensure everyone has a consistent understanding of what’s required under the expansion of the SIRS for in-home aged care.

You agree that the reporting timeframes for the SIRS in residential aged care are appropriate for in-home aged care.

Some providers let us know they already have incident management systems in place and report for other programs. They believe the introduction of the SIRS for in-home aged care will be straightforward. However, others told us the SIRS is a significant change for their organisation and they will need support and training to implement it.

You highlighted some key differences between residential aged care and in-home aged care that should be considered in the design of the SIRS for in-home aged care, including:

  • providers of in-home aged care have limited control over a person’s home or community environment, which can impact their ability to prevent and manage risks to the person’s health, safety and well-being.
  • the potential conflict between a person’s choice and dignity, and mandatory reporting of incidents where someone doesn’t want a report to be made.
  • providers offering in-home services to a larger number of people than in residential aged care homes (i.e. some in-home care providers support more than one thousand clients in their homes).

What we’re doing

The findings will be used to help inform the development of the SIRS for in-home aged care.

You can find more information in the Report on the Outcome of Public Consultation on SIRS for in-home aged care services or the SIRS web page on the Department's website.

Let's change aged care, together

Every Australian should feel confident about accessing high quality and safe aged care, when and where they need it.

The changes mean older Australians will have greater choice and control, services that respect and meet their needs, and support to stay independent as they age.

To find out more and help design the changes, visit the Get Involved page or call 1800 318 209.

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