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  • Writer's pictureThe Communiqués

Residential Aged Care Communiqué Volume 10 Issue 4 November 2015

In this edition

  • Editorial

  • Cases Revisited

  • Commentary: Making a report

  • Commentary: Clinical Forensic Medicine role in investigating physical and sexual assault

  • Policy into real world practice

  • A different form of reporting quality indicators and accreditation

  • RACC Resources


Welcome to the final issue for 2015 in which we consolidate the lessons from the case reports we published over the past year. This issue examines ‘reporting’ in Residential Aged Care (RAC), something we all find challenging.

Over the past 12 months we published cases where: residents had died prematurely due to a nurse deliberately setting fire to a RACS; a premature death was ‘covered up’ as it was initially not reported to the Coroners Court; and a death occurred due to the actions of another resident. Many of these events received media attention bringing a new and heightened level of scrutiny about the policies, practice and professionalism of staff in RACS.

It would be foolish to dismiss these events as tragic ‘one-off’ cases. It is too easy to ‘write-off’ these situations as being due to naiveté, ineptness, careless, thoughtless or criminal behaviour of a single person. A sensible approach is to examine what happened, and to contemplate how the same events may occur on our shift. Typically, we look for reasons why we think it would not occur, rather than why it may. That’s just human nature.

To help us reflect on what happened in these cases and to be better prepared we have sought two clinical experts to provide commentaries and we include a brief precis of two research projects. We examine the nature of ‘reporting’ delving into what is mandatory or voluntary; why requirements exist, what our responsibilities are as an individual, professional and employee and finally reporting from the point of view of the resident, regulatory authorities and community. The latter form of reporting is more commonly seen as accreditation and quality indicator programs.

We wish our subscribers and readers all the best for the New Year and look forward to 2016 which is our 10 year anniversary. We are hoping to mark the occasion with a special event.


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