The Care Minutes Scheme – Helping Improve the Quality of Care in Australia


Australia’s new Care Minutes scheme aims to improve the quality of care provided in aged care facilities by ensuring adequate staffing levels and enforcing mandatory care minutes in response to the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety’s findings.


Key Dates and New Mandates

From October 1, 2023, the Care Minutes scheme mandates a certain amount of care time for older Australians in government-funded residential aged care facilities. The target is to achieve 200 care minutes per resident per day with a sector-wide average of 215 minutes by October 1, 2024. Accurate reporting of care minutes is essential to comply with the new regulations.


Registered Nurse Availability: A Game Changer

Starting July 1, 2023, residential aged care homes are required to have a registered nurse available 24/7 to provide care and support to residents. This ensures that residents receive at least 200 care minutes per day, including 40 minutes provided by a registered nurse. These changes are part of the Care Minutes scheme to improve care for elderly residents.


Measuring Up: The Performance of Aged Care Facilities

Recent data suggests that most aged care facilities are meeting their workforce responsibilities, with registered nurses available and on duty for 23.5 hours per day, which is equivalent to 98.08% of the time. Before the introduction of the Care Minutes program, aged care homes were providing an average of approximately 194 care minutes per resident per day, which was just below the mandated sector target.


Benefits of the Care Minutes Program

The Care Minutes program brings benefits to aged care facilities by improving the quality of care, and promoting accountability and transparency. With increased care minutes, residents receive dedicated time leading to their enhanced well-being and satisfaction. The program provides a standardised and evidence-based approach to staffing and care provision, ensuring the necessary care minutes are delivered.


Optimizing Workforce Management in Aged Care

Solutions like Timecloud’s Rostering or Time and Attendance software can assist aged care facilities to efficiently manage care minutes and meet the requirements of the Care Minutes program by streamlining staff scheduling, ensuring compliance with mandated care minutes, and optimizing staffing levels. This helps aged care facilities simplify their workforce management processes and focus more on providing quality care to their residents.


Support and Enforcement by the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commissioner

The Aged Care Quality and Safety Commissioner is crucial in enforcing the new responsibilities outlined in the Care Minutes scheme. Approved providers can access resources, guides, and fact sheets provided by the Department of Health and Aged Care to assist them in understanding and complying with the new requirements. These resources help aged care facilities navigate the reporting and application process for exemptions from the 24/7 registered nurse responsibility, as well as provide guidance on meeting the staffing levels and training recommended by the Royal Commission.


Timecloud: Your Partner in Navigating Care Minute Changes

If you want to learn more about how Timecloud can help you navigate the changes in your business with Care Minutes coming into place, our team would be happy to chat with you.


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