Nursing homes are required to pass a thorough accreditation every three years, but are given three-months notice of the visit.
That gives facilities the chance to get their paperwork in order, train or schedule more staff on the day and spruce up their homes.
Aged Care Minister Ken Wyatt told the National Press Club on Wednesday the new measures were designed “to help ensure safe, quality care standards are maintained at all times.”
Spot visits already exist in the industry, but are not as thorough as the usual three-year accreditation, which looks at 44 outcomes.
Fronditha Care’s Thornbury facility in Melbourne’s north received a spot visit on Monday 24 October where the living environment, behaviour management, OH&S and infection control management policies and practices were assessed.
Operations Manager Jim Scantsonihas said the nursing home very successfully passed its audit and was given lots of positive feedback by the assessors.
Mr Scantsonihas thinks less notice forces nursing home operators to enact more permanent policies to maintain high standards. It is something he thinks is good for the industry and for the care loved ones receive in the facilities.
“If we’re doing the right thing, as we always should be, we’re prepared any day of the week,” he said.
His only reservation with the measure is being able to ensure enough staff is on duty so the facility can still run smoothly and residents won’t be adversely affected.
“It takes a lot of time out of people’s day, particularly management staff that have to make information available to assessors and answer any requests,” Mr Scantsonihas said.
“It leaves us a bit short staffed.”
Fronditha Care’s CEO George Lekakis hopes the government would consider giving providers a short notice for rostering purposes to make personnel available over a two-day period for the accreditation process.
Each of Fronditha Care’s five facilities have passed their six month spot visits this year, and are expecting their second visit shortly.
Fronditha Care has passed every three-year accreditation since the company was established in 1977.