Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety
At the end of October 2019, the Royal Commission released its ‘Interim Report’ about the state of Australia’s aged care system. The Interim Report, along with much of the media coverage, presents a very negative picture of the sector. And whilst it is clear that Australia’s aged care system and services have failed many older Australians, there are also many positive stories and outcomes that should be celebrated. SCC welcomes the identification of improvements to the aged care system and services that will be gained as a result of the Royal Commission.
A need for change during a global pandemic
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought about changes in the way we all do business and in our approach to risk management. A good example of this is the shift toward online processes and engaging with our staff, clients, residents, their families and representatives through digital channels such as virtual meetings.
Throughout this health crisis, ensuring the safety and well-being of our residents, clients and staff has remained a priority, with visitor restrictions and revised policies and procedures in place proving particularly effective in reducing the risk of infection and spread of the virus.
SCC established a dedicated COVID-19 Task Force consisting of Executives, internal subject matter experts, and Registered Nurses (including myself) to lead our response to COVID-19. Against the backdrop of our Clinical Governance Framework, our Task Force continues to work closely with NSW Health, industry peers and our operations teams on the ground to ensure we remain effective in the fight against COVID-19.
Whilst COVID-19 has consumed considerable time and resources, SCC achieved some important milestones over the year.
- Our Quality and Clinical Governance Team have worked tirelessly to embed a single set of Aged Care Quality Standards, and National Aged Care Mandatory Quality Indicator Program for Residential Aged Care, introduced on 1 July 2019 into practice across our organisation.
- We modernised our Nurse Call systems across the network to deliver increased operational, clinical, and patient outcomes.
- Our Thornton Park facility was a finalist in the 2019 UDIA NSW Awards for Excellence in Urban Development, in the ’Aged Care’ and ‘Retirement Living’ categories.
- Our North Turramurra Residential Aged Care home was completed in March 2020.
- Construction work commenced in late 2019 at our St Catherine’s Villa in Grafton, which is undergoing a complete transformation whilst remaining open for business.
I would like to thank our staff for ensuring our residents and clients are cared for, and our families, representatives and volunteers for their widespread support in these challenging times.
I look forward to progressing our Strategic Plan in the next 12 months, as we emerge more resilient and committed to delivering high quality care for the elderly. To this end, I also want to thank our Executive Management Team and Board Members for their unwavering support.