Provision of Equipment by Aged Care Organisations

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Published: 09 November 2021

In some cases, aged care organisations might supply their clients with equipment to use outside of the service environment, for example, within the care recipient’s own home if they are receiving a Home Care Package (ACQSC 2021).

Any equipment provided by the organisation must be fit for purpose; that is, safe, suitable, clean and well-maintained (ACQSC 2021).

For example, if installing a handrail for a client, the organisation would be responsible for firstly choosing a high-quality, sturdy handrail to implement, and then ensuring it’s installed correctly (CDCS 2019).

Any third-party services subcontracted by the organisation must also use equipment that is deemed fit for purpose. It’s the organisation’s responsibility to ensure that subcontracted services are using appropriate equipment (ACQSC 2021).

Furthermore, the organisation is also responsible for assessing any equipment owned by the care recipient themselves that is required in the delivery of supports and services. For example, if a staff member noticed a crack in a client’s shower chair, they would need to raise this concern with the client (ACQSC 2021; CDCS 2019).

Ensuring that equipment is fit for purpose is a requirement under Standard 4 of the Aged Care Quality Standards: Services and Supports for Daily Living.

provision of equipment shower chair

Care Recipient Needs and Preferences

Each client has their own equipment needs and preferences based on:

  • Their care
  • Lifestyle
  • Mobility
  • Communication
  • Housekeeping
  • Needs, goals and preferences.

(ACQSC 2021)

Types of Equipment

The term equipment under this requirement is broad, comprising:

  • Routine and specialised care equipment
  • Equipment used for the care recipient’s lifestyle
  • Housekeeping and cleaning equipment
  • Gardening equipment
  • Transport
  • Maintenance.

(ACQSC 2021)

Examples include:

  • Mobility aids such as wheelchairs and walking frames
  • Mechanical devices for getting in and out of bed
  • Bed rails
  • Bedding aids such as slide sheets, sheepskins, tri-pillows and pressure-relieving mattresses
  • Shower chairs and hoists
  • Ramps for walking and wheelchair access
  • Continence aids such as bedpans and pads
  • Splints and braces
  • Home oxygen services
  • Home or vehicle modifications.

(My Aged Care 2021; Better Health Channel 2019)

provision of equipment staff member helping client get into car

Ensuring Equipment is Fit for Purpose

In order to ensure equipment is safe, suitable, clean and well-maintained, organisations should:

  • Train staff to safely clean equipment
  • Ensure staff can identify any potential risks when using equipment
  • Plan and perform maintenance and cleaning routines for equipment
  • Have an appropriate process in place for purchasing, servicing, maintaining, renewing and replacing equipment
  • Perform risk assessments before providing equipment to clients
  • Use, store and maintain equipment according to manufacturer guidelines
  • Use equipment for its intended purpose only
  • Ensure that the equipment is only being used by the client it was given to
  • Ensure that subcontractors’ equipment meets all requirements
  • When equipment is shared between the organisation, the client and/or a third party, ensure the clear responsibilities of each party are documented.

(ACQSC 2021)

Additional Resources


References

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