Submitted to Health Consult.

The Department of Health and Aged Care is seeking to develop and test 3 new staffing Quality Indicators for the aged care sector, focusing on enrolled nursing, allied health professionals and lifestyle services. 

In response to this consultation, Dietitians Australia recommends:

In the development of Quality Indicators for allied health, both the clinical and non-clinical aspects of aged care must be considered. This is especially relevant to Accredited Practising Dietitians who not only provide 1:1 clinical care, but who play a key role with specific non-clinical tasks in the planning, coordination and assessment of food and nutrition services within aged care homes (as per Standard 6, Food and Nutrition, of the strengthened Aged Care Quality Standards). 

Prior to the development of ‘clinical care’ Quality Indicators for allied health, it is vital to establish a consistent allied health needs assessment and care planning process. Once established and allied health is funded and provided according to actual need, Quality Indicators for ‘clinical care’ provided by allied health professionals can be established.

Until a nationally consistent allied health needs assessment and care planning tool/ process becomes available, establishing ‘interim measure’ Quality Indicators for allied health should consider the allied health staffing targets established by the Australian Health Services Research Institute and internationally.

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