An AnchorTeam Article

A year of impact, growth and more connection to leaders than ever before. As we come to a close I can only but put my mind to the key word ‘anticipate’. Anticipating for me is what leaders need to have in abundance in order to build the resilience and the resourcefulness needed to rise through reform. The whole point of reform is change to realign to new industry dynamics. What we did before is not going to serve us as to what is needed in the future. For me we are moving to a critical phase of ‘point of care and point in time’. This means for leaders to lead they will need information that is more time sensitive than ever before. Lag information from audit systems will just not cut it anymore. A focus on the detail and the ability to quickly identify the changing landscape of risk for consumers is what will ensure the greatest degree of success. The ability to lead staff through these new skills so that they are rewarded for being present and really connecting with consumers and their families again will make the biggest difference.

My other thoughts go to applauding leaders for digging so deep this year. 

Every service we have connected with has worked very hard to rise through challenges with covid, single staff and also the increasing pressure from the regulation and lack of capabilities in their staff. We will all come through if we continue to support each other, recognise fatigue and give space for mistakes. No one is perfect and no one has all the answers. We operate in a fluid space and it’s in our agility and our presence we will do the best. 

I send my heartfelt thanks to leaders at all levels – boards, executives, managers and front line leaders. We see you and we thank you for your leadership

Cynthia Payne

Managing Director

It’s that time of year again when I sit here and think to myself “How is it nearly Christmas already?” I’m sure it was only January when I was making grand plans for the year ahead and highlighting all the things that I want to achieve. If 2021 has taught me anything, it’s that things don’t always go to plan and there is a need to be nimble and to be able to  adapt quickly. 

The ability to adapt to this ever changing environment we are living and working in will be key to keeping up the pace. The frantic nature of the change isn’t likely to settle anytime soon, we anticipate more regulatory change, further impact from consumer expectations and greater pressure on leaders to continue to support their teams and people with “keeping up”.  Our great opportunity is to focus on the things that are in our control, focus on doing the things that impact the most, listen deeply to your people and focus on remembering the reason that we do what we do – to make a positive difference in everything we do, wherever we are, whenever we can.  

Carla Beheram

Chief Operational Officer

When we reflect on the year, a few words jump out: Change, Agility, Resilience, Leadership. We have firstly seen organisations adapt with continuous changes of the Pandemic as well as the start of the Aged Care reform.  This continuous change has meant organisation and people need to have Agility, Resilience and Leadership.

These themes will continue with the announcement by the Government that “Australia’s aged care sector will experience once in a generation reform”

Whilst we reflect on the year, an important question to ask is :  “what have we learnt from this year that will help us in future years and what are we doing to foresee/keep ahead of the change that is coming”. Depending on how you answer this may give you some insight for the future.

Paul Harris

Chief Financial Officer

This year has been an explosion of change and has demonstrated more than ever the need for exceptional leadership across aged care service provision.

Leadership is a key driver of excellence. The aged care leaders of today and tomorrow must be nimble.  This means an adaptive leadership style that resonates with people and process. Cognisance of the regulatory environment is critical in this skill matrix.

What will 2022 look like?

More change, more regulation and more than ever a need to read the tea leaves!

Dr Irene Stein

Head of Clinical Governance

The Year 2021! Well, change is the only constant as it is said, like the rest of the world, Australia too has seen such a transformational  change  in healthcare  with COVID 19 pandemic  as well as the Aged Care reforms and its continued challenges that have continued since the past year. 

2021 is truly the year of major milestones in aged care! With much vigilance and keeping a watchful eye on COVID-19 pandemic, we saw visitor access continue to be  restricted  to residential aged care facilities and providers’ adherence to public health orders to keep outbreaks in an aged care facility at bay as much as possible.  While the visitor restrictions were present, we also saw new and creative ways that continued since the past year in establishing contact for consumers with their loved ones through facetime, zoom  and skype platforms and phone calls.  A significant emphasis was also on lessons learnt from Victorian aged care homes and their management of the COVID outbreaks and further improvements in facility specific outbreak management plans.  

The aged care landscape is certainly and significantly changing post the Royal Commission in Aged Care report recommendations that was tabled in the Parliament  on 1 March 2021. The voice of the community has assisted in reframing the concept of aged care living as well as the leadership of the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission. The community and legislative  consultations have propelled the aged care industry  towards stability and strengthening long term commitment to the aged with sustainable changes that are required to make the system attest to aged care needs with absolute consumer choice and consultation.

The context of the national vaccine roll out and guidance and resources from the Commission summarised to assist residential aged care facilities with improving the safety and well being of the aged care consumers. Also the Serious Incident Response Scheme  (SIRS) a new initiative aiming to reduce the risk of abuse and neglect in aged care facilities which was announced to start from 1 April 2021.   Further announcement of the implementation of the expanded quality indicators reporting obligations and the inclusion of 2 new ( Mediation management and falls and major injury was included in the indicator reporting from 1 July 2021.)

Veronica John

Aged Services and Interim Specialist

2021 wow what an amazing, exhausting year that is almost at its end , the ongoing Pandemic added  complexity and increased workload with our Covid 19 planning and preparedness , vaccination programs , managing constantly changing public health orders. the angst to both residents and families with ongoing closed to visitors orders. This added to  our struggles to absorb the Royal Commission findings  all of  this combined has  led to at times an overload of our sense of business as usual and managing the new requirements. 

With these changes came the  new requirements in April of the Serious Investigation Response scheme  legislation and the increased reporting requirements with the second phase of the program commencing in October this year. On top of this the ACQSC  added further regulation and requirements on Restrictive practices , guidelines and mandatory behaviour support plans.

The Pandemic has seen our industry highlighted in the media some favourable some not so, I think  in all my many years of working in this  industry ,there has never been a more important time for staff to cultivate a deep understanding of who our residents are , how they choose to live their lives ,developing relationships with both residents and their loved ones that foster a real community within the home, documenting the plan and checking in regularly with residents and families that the plan  is still current, reflective and effective to enable them to live their best lives whilst at the home. RACF can help facilitate this by having clear policy and procedures that uphold the ACQSC principles and standards  allow staff time to develop and grow relationships within the home.   

The takeaway message for me this year  is about the importance of the connection with our community and social connections with friends and families and the  realisation the pandemic has changed our lives forever.

Kerri Hartney

 Aged Services, Interim & Clinical Governance Specialist

Fast-forward 12 months, and the landscape continues to change for residential aged care (RAC) providers supporting residents that have become NDIS participants. RAC providers have responsibilities under both the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission and the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission (NDIS Commission) regulatory frameworks. On 1 December 2020, RAC providers were automatically registered as NDIS provider under the following class of support:

0155 – assistance with daily life tasks in a groups or shared living arrangement

In assisting RAC providers meet their regulatory obligations, transitional arrangements were implemented on 1 December 2020 aimed at minimising undue regulatory burden. Twelve months later, RAC providers are required to have meet the following regulatory obligations of:

    • Ensuring all workers including staff and volunteers in risk roles have completed a NDIS Worker Screening check
    • Taking all reasonable steps to obtain a comprehensive behaviour support plan, authorising the use of restrictive practices

 RAC providers are also required to have established a:

    • Complaints Management and Resolution System
    • Incident Management and Reporting System

As a registered NDIS provider, your Certificate of Registration includes a date of registration expiration triggering registration renewal. Where do you start! Anchor Excellence is working in partnership with several RAC providers, providing the expertise required to prepare for this process. Via a desktop review, our NDIA specialist can remotely review your organisation to save both time and money determining your readiness for Certification, by:

    • Guiding you through your regulatory requirements 
    • Reviewing your internal systems and processes to ensure compliance with the regulatory requirements 
    • Making recommendations in a written report to guide you to meet your regulatory requirements 
    • Identify opportunities for educational enhancement through designing and delivering targeted training programs 

For further details or to schedule a meeting to discuss your requirements, please contact Britt O’Keefe on either (02) 8610 1950 or

Britt O'Keefe

Disability Specialist

We thank you for an amazing 3 years and hope that we can continue to provide support and encouragement for many years to come. 

Best wishes for the new year, 

The Anchor Excellence Team

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