19 October, 2012
Fast track for clinical care assessments in aged care
Associate Health Minister Jo Goodhew has accelerated the timeframe for the roll-out of a comprehensive clinical assessment tool in aged residential care to improve the quality of life and care of residents.
By June 2014 all aged residential facilities in New Zealand will be participating in the roll-out of the assessment tool, with use of the tool becoming mandatory in aged residential care from July 2015.
"This is a positive move to build on the good work being done by aged care providers and ensure people in aged care facilities across the country are getting a consistently high standard of care" Mrs Goodhew said.
Internationally recognised, the assessment tool was developed by a collaborative network of researchers in over 30 countries called interRAI. The tool will assist nurses in aged care facilities to provide quality care for residents by providing a comprehensive clinical assessment of needs that supports the development of tailor-made care plans.
Mrs Goodhew also notes that comprehensive clinical assessment will provide opportunities to support continuous quality improvement in aged care.
"The Auditor General's September 2012 report, Effectiveness of arrangements to check the standard of services provided by rest homes, emphasises the importance of comprehensive clinical assessment in monitoring the quality of care for older people."
The roll-out in aged residential care follows the successful implementation of comprehensive clinical assessment for clients of home-based support services completed earlier in 2012.
District Health Boards started working with the aged residential care sector to roll out the assessment tool in 2011, after a pilot programme in Canterbury and the Bay of Plenty.