Status update on recommendations following the quality review of Council’s Aged Care after hours service changes (Media release)

Extract of Executive Summary from Confidential Council Report, October 2016

This report provides for the Executive Manager Organisation Development to present to Council the outcomes of the independent quality review undertaking in relation to the Aged Care after hours service changes. This report responds to the Council resolution of 13 July 2016 (NOM38/16) to conduct an independent quality review process for all communications with clients about the changes to the service.

Two independent organisations, namely ‘Quality Service Improvement’ and ‘Everybody’s Business’ were jointly appointed by Council officers in August to conduct the review.

The independent quality review undertaken by Quality Service Improvement and Everybody’s Business concluded:

  • Most families described Council officers as being respectful and acting appropriately.
  • There was no specific evidence to support that individuals were treated unfairly and unreasonably.
  • Clients received different messaging on Council’s position from different people representing Council. It was further concluded that in the absence of operating as ‘One Team’ and working to a shared vison, made the clients journey more difficult.
  • About half of the participants raised concerns about not being listened to and feeling like Council staff lacked empathy
  • Some of the interpretations of events also point to a less than satisfactory customer service experience for clients.

Six recommendations were made to ensure that individuals accessing the services delivered by the Aged and Community Support team are treated fairly and respectfully. The recommendations are also intended to assist Council and Council officers to continuously review and improve the customer experience for these services. Key recommendations include:

  • Council administration reviews its guidelines for written communication to residents
  • Aged and Community Support Branch review the briefing process and communication plan for services changes
  • All representatives of Moreland City Council have a shared understanding of what the Moreland Customer Service Charter means and how it applies
  • The organisation considers mandating that complaints received through all entry points are entered on the internal customer service system
  • Aged and Community Support Branch review local systems and processes to ensure optimal learnings from this process.
  • Council staff and Councillors live the value of ‘One Team’

Status report on progress against key recommendations – as at October 2017

Key Recommendation

Comments

Council administration reviews its guidelines for written communication to residents

Commitment to improved customer service has been made through the 2017-22 Council Plan and work has commenced to enact this, covering broad areas of customer service interactions.

Aged and Community Support Branch review the briefing process and communication plan for services changes

Aged and Community Support have reviewed the communication plan for service changes. As evidenced by Council’s recent survey of all clients, an internal communication strategy for the NDIS has been developed to consider all stakeholders and identify how best to communicate with them. Council has, after listening to client feedback on the NDIS, ensured that there are a range ways to access information and a number of forums for individuals to attend. An NDIS Transition Officer will soon commence at Council, per DHHS guidelines, to assist individual clients with transition planning to maximise their plan development and to review current service delivery.

Council recently advertised in the Aged and Community Support Newsletter for members for a consumer reference group. To date no responses have been received.

In addition, in January 2017 Council undertook a consumer survey to understand its service performance and improve its overall delivery.

All representatives of Moreland City Council have a shared understanding of what the Moreland Customer Service Charter means and how it applies

Commitment to improved customer service was made through 2017-22 Council Plan and work has commenced to enact this

The organisation considers mandating that complaints received through all entry points are entered on the internal customer service system

This is being developed across Council at present. It is an audit outcome of Council’s internal audit review and Council is participating fully as a partner with other branches and departments.

Aged and Community Support Branch review local systems and processes to ensure optimal learnings from this process

As part of Council’s recent home care standards quality review, where Council received 18 out of 18 outcomes for the service, Council has committed to review and align all policy and procedure by April 2018. This quality review has assisted in improving Council’s performance against the standards.

Council staff and Councillors live the value of ‘One Team’

 

The ‘One Team’ value was reinforced through the new Council Plan (2017-22) and ongoing work with both staff and Councillors on how to work together is occurring.