The Australian Aged Care Quality Agency engaged Hamilton Stone to assist it in producing consumer resources to support the implementation of new aged care quality standards. 

A single set of standards - the Aged Care Quality Standards - replaces all current standards and apply to all aged care services, including residential care, home care packages, flexible care and services under the Commonwealth Home Support Program.

What we did for the Quality Agency

Hamilton Stone developed information resources for aged care consumers.  The information resources are to help consumers, their representatives or family understand the new standards, how they relate to their care and what they can do if they feel their expectations of their care are not being met.

Our directors have extensive stakeholder engagement experience, which we complemented with a literature review on engaging with older people, using it to design an engagement plan. We undertook consultation with national stakeholder organisations, and visited sites across the country, talking to people aged between 50 and 100, about the services they used. Our consultations were with hard-to-reach populations and built on strong trust relationships. We arranged invitations to participate in different formats, including video, which you can read more about on our Projects page.

We discussed with consumers the types of information channels they find most useful, testing key themes around the quality of care, and piloting information resources.  

We developed a report for the Quality Agency on the first phase of the project, and the findings we detailed were the subject of an article in the Aged Care Guide.  The most interesting findings in our early consultations were highlighted by Quality Agency CEO Nick Ryan:

What is more surprising to us so far is the extent to which consumers value having someone standing beside them when they are dealing with information and decisions about aged care, the specificity of consumer information needs related to their particular aged care journey, and differences between consumer’s experience and language of quality that is often used by experts to describe ‘quality’.”

These insights shaped the recommended information resources.