Joint report on avoidable hospitalisations from residential aged care facilities in NSW and delayed discharge

27-Sep-2019


ASMOF NSW is a member of the NSW Aged Care Roundtable which represents medical, clinical, nursing and consumer groups.

A new report  released by eleven participants of the NSW Aged Care Roundtable has uncovered links between staffing and the avoidable hospitalisation of many people from residential aged care facilities in New South Wales.

ASMOF NSW was one of the Roundtable member groups which undertook surveys of our members to inform the report.

According to the report, a lack of general practitioners or registered nurse availability were key causal factors for aged care residents being transferred to hospital, as well as delayed discharge and return to their aged care facility.

Falls, palliative care, behaviour management in dementia sufferers, catheterisation and pain management were common reasons identified why many aged care residents were transferred to hospital. Meanwhile, deficiencies in simple wound care, medication errors or basic pain relief were recognised as other causes of avoidable hospitalisations.

There is consensus among medical, clinical, nursing and consumer groups regarding what is required to reduce the incidence of avoidable hospitalisations from residential aged care facilities.

The report outlines eight recommendations to reduced avoidable hospital presentations, including improved staffing levels, skills mix and training; improved medication management; a need for national clinical care benchmarking; and better integration with primary care services.

The report has been submitted to the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety, ahead of its planned hearings into the aged care workforce in October 2019.