With the ageing population, there is an increasing demand for aged care services. Clients are not just looking for services, but seeking services with quality. There are media reports from time to time on cases of non-compliance in aged care service or service providers not doing the right thing. These unwelcoming news have made clients and their families cautious and concerned, and government departments are eager to monitor the services to ensure compliance. There are also signs that prominent government officials would visit services that display excellent performance in order to encourage other services to follow their good examples. The Australian Aged Care Quality Assurance Team work quietly behind the scene and often carried out unannounced visits to the services.
I heard that the CASS Residential Aged Care Facility (RACF) had been busy receiving visitors recently. In order to find out more details, I met up with a CASS colleague who told me, “The Hon Ken Wyatt AM, MP, Federal Minister for Aged Care, visited CASS on 1 November. He toured our RACF, visited the Hua An Senior Activity Group and our child care centre. He was impressed by the wide range of services provided by CASS, catering for the needs of children to the elderly. He commended the high quality services and the innovative ideas of our organisation, citing the case of building a residential aged care facility next to the childcare centre as an example of inter-generational initiative. He encouraged our team to continue our good efforts and provide high quality services to the community.”
“The next day after the Minister’s visit, there was an unannounced visit by a Compliance Officer of the Australian Aged Care Quality Assurance Team to our RACF.” The CASS colleague referred me to talk to the Facility Administration Manager of RACF, Ms Chung, for details of the visit.
Ms Chung met me with a bright smile, letting out positive news regarding the unannounced visit. She said, “The visit included observation, examination of records and random interviews with residents and staff members. After 8 long hours of examination, the Officer was very pleased with the service and gave positive feedback. Excellent performance was especially noted in the areas of complaint management and related documentation, and the management of challenging behaviours, etc. 4 staff members and 10 residents were randomly selected for interview by the Officer. According to the Officer, all the interviewees had provided positive feedback regarding the service.”
The CASS Board of Directors were excited about the visits. Hearing the positive feedback from the different visitors, our Chairperson Dr Bo Zhou was especially thrilled. He said, “The excellent performance is the result of concerted efforts by the management, staff members and volunteers. We will continue to work together to ensure that high quality services are provided for those in need in the community.”
Dr Zhou also shared his pensive thoughts: “Over the past year, CASS has been receiving anonymous letters raising unwarranted accusations against RACF and our Foundation Chairperson and Honorary Executive Director Mr Henry Pan. They fabricated stories to smear the operation of our facility and framed groundless accusations to discredit the reputation of Mr Pan. No matter what words are said, actions always reveal the truth. The anonymous letters have led to investigation by government department on our RACF. An unannounced visit was conducted in February, and the recent visit was the second one in the year. The truth has shown that our RACF can withstand the tests, with positive feedback received in every visit. Our service has increasingly earned the trust and respect of various government departments. The compliance officers shared the view that the anonymous letters were meaningless. Mr Pan continues to do what he has been doing for the past thirty odd years, working tirelessly for the community, contributing both his time, efforts and even money to our charitable causes. His integrity and selfless contribution has been acknowledged by the wide community, including the respect of Federal Ministers. Actions speak louder than words. The positive responses from the government and the community are best defences against the unruly attacks and baseless accusations.”
CASS will stay true to its mission and principles. We will work hard for continuous improvement. We are calmly prepared for any unexpected visitor anytime!