Aged Care Code for Visiting Residential Aged Care Homes During COVID-19
In May 2020, the “Industry Code for Visiting Residential Aged Care Homes During COVID-19 ” was released by 13 aged care peak bodies and consumer advocacy organisations. The Aged Care Code for Coronavirus is a nationally consistent approach to ensure residents can receive visitors while minimising the risk of spreading COVID-19. It is to be adopted during the period of COVID-19, after which it is presumed usual practices will return.
The Code focuses on the human rights approach. The wishes and preferences of residents is at the centre of all decision making in relation to who visits, and their choices will be sought and respected unless the visitor is prohibited due to state/territory restrictions. The approach and application of the Code also recognises cultural, language and spiritual diversity, cultural or environmental contexts and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island peoples and communities.
The Code notes that Aged Care Quality Standards and the Charter of Aged Care Rights continue to apply during the pandemic, and at all times.
The efficacy of the Code was reviewed on 29 May 2020 (2 weeks after its release) and this one-page document provides a good indicator of its value to providers, and ease of implementation.
From a risk management perspective, aged care providers are encouraged to review and adopt the Code as it makes a valiant attempt to provide a clear and practical outline to assist care homes, residents and visitors to find the right balance to protect residents from COVID-19 and provide them with vital social connections and support.
As aged care providers already maintain a high level of legislative and accreditation compliance adopting the Code makes sense. Given that the insurance market continues to harden, any adoption by aged care providers which improves risk, is very useful particularly when presenting the providers’ risk to current or potential future insurers.
Marsh Care Solutions provides risk and insurance services for a number of key care providers, and we are very familiar with the issues faced by your organisation. If you would like additional information or would like to discuss a risk or insurance related matter, please contact Care Solutions Practices Leader, Lyle Steffensen.
This article is not intended to be taken as advice regarding any individual situation and should not be relied upon as such. The information contained herein is based on sources we believe reliable, but we make no representation or warranty as to its accuracy. LCPA: 20/244