An Uber moment has arrived in the Aged Care Industry

The Interim Aged Care Royal Commission Report highlights neglect in the industry

The Report States:

“The Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety’s Interim Report has found the aged care system fails to meet the needs of its older, vulnerable, citizens. It does not deliver uniformly safe and quality care, is unkind and uncaring towards older people and, in too many instances, it neglects them.

Commissioners Richard Tracey AM, RFD, QC and Lynelle Briggs’s AO investigation into Australia’s aged care system led them to describe the aged care system as “a shocking tale of neglect”. “The neglect that we have found in this Royal Commission, to date, is far from the best that can be done. Rather, it is a sad and shocking system that diminishes Australia as a nation.”

The report describes the current system as one that:

  • Is transactional as opposed to built on relationship development and care;
  • Minimises the voices of those receiving care and their loved ones;
  • Hard to navigate, leaving people ill informed to make the right choices;
  • Reliant on a regulatory model that lacks transparency or an incentive to improve;
  • Has a highly pressurised and under-appreciated workforce, lacking key skills.

The Faster Horses Inside Aged Care Report reinforces these views.

The 2019 Report includes a robust sample of 1,547 people across Australia. The report highlights perceptions of a lack of quality care in the industry, as well as among other things, a complex pricing structure and lack of affordability for the services.

Three specific slides have been taken from the report to highlight these points:

Perceptions of Aged Care Organisations

While there were increases in positive perceptions of some elements of the aged care industry, it is hard to celebrate these when at best they reach 38% agreement. This clearly indicates that only a minority of Australians rated aged care providers positively. In fact, just as many people actively rated aged care providers negatively.

Perceptions of Aged Care Organisations treating those in their care with respect and consideration

Over 60s (those already receiving care and/or those who are next in line to receive care), are significantly less likely to agree that providers treat those in their care with respect and consideration. In fact, 43% of older Australians actively disagree that aged care providers treat those in their care with respect and consideration.

Perceptions of the Aged Care Pricing Model

Most Australians remain confused about the pricing models used in the aged care industry. Only 11% agreed that pricing models are straightforward in 2018. This increased to 17% in 2019, a very low level. Levels of agreement are even lower among those aged 60+ (8% in 2018 and 9% in 2019).

Faster Horses presented findings from the Inside Aged Care Report at the LASA Congress in both 2018 and 2019. In 2018, the point was made that organisations need to adapt culturally for improvement to be felt within organisations and by customers. Organisations need to shift culture from paternalistic, traditional, rigid and structured to collaborative, warm, flexible and inclusive.

We also made the point that staff are critical to the change being possible, and their views should be taken into consideration, integrated into policies and decision making, as they are at the coal face and understand the customer viewpoint more than anyone else.

The LASA National Congress held this week raised these issues openly and transparently. The industry is not under any illusions that things need to change – certainly those in attendance were in agreement on this point.

While change is not easy, there has to be agreement that the Uber moment in the industry has arrived and that revolution is now required.

The Inside Aged Care Report 2019 is available on request to veronica@fasterhorses.consulting.

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