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Australian Government Department of Health: Message to the Aged Care Sector

New arrangements for compulsory reporting under the Aged Care Act 1997

The Aged Care Act 1997 requires approved providers to report any allegation or suspicion of an assault to the police within 24 hours of becoming aware of, or suspecting, a reportable assault. This ensures that the appropriate emergency response is taken and those residents affected receive timely help and support.

When an allegation or suspicion of assault or an unexplained absence is reported to the police, approved providers must also notify the department.

For approved providers to meet their reporting responsibilities, they must notify the department on 1800 081 549. Compulsory reports can be made Monday to Friday from 9.00am to 5.00pm local time. For the Northern Territory, the compulsory reporting line operates on South Australian local time. A voicemail service is available outside these hours.

Reports received outside business hours including weekend and public holidays, are responded to by the department on the next business day. Approved providers continue to meet their reporting responsibilities by leaving a message.

A streamlined approach to receiving compulsory reports is being introduced on 15 February 2016 to make reporting easier for approved providers. Approved providers will be able to report by completing a form which will be available on the department's website.

From 15 February 2016 approved providers will only be required to provide information to establish whether prescribed timeframes have been met and that appropriate action has been taken to ensure the safety and wellbeing of care recipients at the service.

The introduction of online reporting and the revised administrative approach will reduce administrative burden for providers by reducing the time it takes to make a compulsory report and offering an alternative reporting method.

Regards

Ageing and Aged Care Group,

Department of Health

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