Standards and Funding - Residential Aged Care

Standards and Funding

Aged Care Quality Standards

The Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission expects that organisations providing aged care services in Australia will comply with the Aged Care Quality Standards (Standards), which include end of life care and advance care planning.  For more information on the Standards, see the Guidance and Resources for Providers webpages.  ELDAC has resources to help aged care staff and organisations meet the eight Standards.

Aged care quality standards

Source : Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission website The use of this image does not constitute an endorsement by the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission of ELDAC activities.

Standard 1 underscores the importance of valuing diversity where every consumer should be treated with dignity and respect, especially in terms of their identity and culture.  The Advance Care Planning page has resources for different population groups including: religious and cultural backgrounds; people living with dementia; Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples; and LGBTI groups.  There are also resources for supporting families around communication, decision-making about care and involving others in their care.

The Assess Palliative Care Needs and Provide Palliative Care domains of the Residential Aged Care Toolkit has materials on providing care that is culturally safe and offers information on supporting holistic care, including psychosocial and spiritual wellbeing.

Standard 2 focuses on ongoing assessment and planning with consumers.  It explicitly identifies that this should include advance care and end of life planning, if the consumer wishes.  The Advance Care Planning page of the Clinical Care section has general information and links to specific states/territories resources for end of life planning.  There are resources to assist healthcare staff begin the conversation with residents about how they want to be cared for and what their wishes and preferences are for their end of life.

The Work Together domain under the Clinical Care section of the toolkit highlights care coordination as essential and inclusive of all health professionals, the resident, and the family regarding care goals.  Palliative care case conference information and templates are available to help document the multidisciplinary team meetings.
Standard 3 is concerned with personal and clinical care so that a person’s needs, goals and preferences nearing the end of life are recognised and addressed.  This includes consumers’ comfort being maximised and their dignity preserved and that staff recognise deterioration and respond in a timely manner.  The Residential Aged Care Toolkit addresses these areas in the Recognise End of Life, Respond to Deterioration, Manage Dying and Bereavement clinical care domains. 
Standard 4 emphasises the importance of the organisation providing safe and effective services and supports for daily living that optimise the consumer’s independence, health, well-being and quality of life.  The Clinical Care domain on Assess Palliative Care Needs has resources to measure and promote resident's emotional, spiritual and psychosocial well-being, which are based around The Palliative Care Needs Assessment Guidance.
Standard 5 applies to the physical service environment that the organisation provides for residential aged care, which should be safe, clean, well maintained and comfortable.  The Support Systems and Quality Improvement pages under Organisational Support section has materials on policies and procedures to help your organisation build a framework for end of life care.
Standard 6 requires an organisation to have a system to support all consumers to make a complaint or give feedback.  Providing palliative care and advance care planning for residents and their families requires a coordinated approach.  The Support Systems section outlines five actions will assist your organisation in continuous quality improvement leading to better outcomes.

Standard 7 states that organisations have and use a skilled and qualified workforce, sufficient to deliver and manage safe, respectful, and quality care and services.  The Education and Learning section of the toolkit offers an opportunity for you and your staff to evaluate your individual learning and development needs in providing end of life care with the ELDAC Personal Learning Assessment and create a Personal Learning Plan.

There are links to online education modules to help you and your staff improve your knowledge, skills and confidence in palliative care and advance care planning.

Standard 8 is about embedding within organisational governance delivery of safe and quality care and services.  The Organisational Support section features three audit tools to support quality improvement in your service, which include the:

  • ELDAC Advance Care Planning and Palliative Care Organisational Audit
  • ELDAC After Death Audit
  • Advance Care Planning Continuous Quality Improvement Audit Tool

National Palliative Care Standards

Palliative Care Australia have released the 5th edition of the National Palliative Care Standards (371kb pdf). These standards are useful to refer to when reviewing palliative care and advance care planning in your organisation.

Australian National Aged Care Classification (AN-ACC)

The Australian National Aged Care Classification (AN-ACC) care funding model replaced the Aged Care Funding Instrument (ACFI) on 1 October 2022. AN-ACC includes a specific classification, Class 1 – admit for palliative care, which is for eligible residents who enter permanent residential aged care to receive planned palliative care at, or near, end of life. The Department of Health and Aged Care provides information on AN-ACC Class 1.

Page updated 03 February 2023