Unintended and Unnecessary Transfers - Transfers - Managing Risk

Unintended and Unnecessary Transfers

Unintended and unnecessary transfers should be minimised.

  • The person is unnecessarily transferred when they could have been supported at the residential aged care facility.
  • The person receives care or treatment that they do not want, or which causes distress and discomfort, or is of no benefit.
  • The person dies in a setting that they did not wish to die in, or receives care that they do not want because they have been transferred to a different setting.
  • Family and friends are not present when the person dies due to being transferred to a different care setting.
  • Educate and empower staff to be confident in their caregiving ability for people at the end of life and to know what to do when transfers are proposed.
  • Openly discuss the person’s preferred place to die and clearly record it in their care documentation.
  • Review care documentation to check that a person’s preferred place of death is captured (along with any Advance Care Directives), and that staff are aware of these preferences.
  • Implement a regular review of transfers to self-monitor when and why transfers occur. This analysis can give providers insights into why and how transfer decisions have been made and where future improvements can occur.

Transfers may be intended where the person wants to be transferred to a hospice, specialist palliative care service, home, or the community.

Transfers may also be needed where the person requires treatment or therapy that cannot be provided by their aged care provider or is experiencing acute medical issues and requires hospitalisation e.g. emergency situations.

Unintended or unnecessary transfers for people in the palliative phase should be avoided. This helps to minimise risk or interruptions to their care, avoid causing distress, anxiety and harm, and enable the person to receive care or die comfortably in their preferred place.

Page updated 18 January 2024