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SIRS: What Providers And Individuals Need To Know

Aged care worker helping elderly women walk in the street

The Serious Incident Reporting Scheme (SIRS) is a new initiative that helps reduce abuse and neglect incidents in Residential Aged Care services.  

What does SIRS mean for aged care providers?

Aged Care providers will be required to have an effective incident management system in place and use this to continuously improve the management and prevention of incidents. 

What is required from aged care providers?

Providers will be required to identify, record, manage, report, and resolve all serious residential aged care incidents within a specific timeframe.

The Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission will be responsible for administering SIRS and take regulatory action where appropriate.

When will SIRS be introduced?

SIRS will be effective April 1st 2021.

What does this mean for the industry?

Aged care providers will be required to develop and embed a best practice incident management system enabling them to respond to and manage incidents/near misses by assessing:

 – What happened

 – How and why it happened

 – What can be done to reduce the risk of recurrence

 – What was learned

 – How the learning can be shared

What does it mean for individuals?

SIRS means that staff will need to be trained in the protocols, processes and standard operating procedures that each facility will need to introduce to comply with the SIRS requirements.

Why is SIRS needed?

 – The Serious Incident Reporting System aims to:

 – Reduce the risk of abuse and neglect

 – Build providers skills so they can better respond to serious incidents

 – Enable providers to drive improvements in quality and safety

 – Reduce the likelihood of preventable incidents from occurring

 – Ensure people receiving Aged Care have the support they need

Do residential care workers need training?

Training is essential for all workers in residential care, including personal care workers, nurses and managers. 

What SIRS training is available?

The Serious Incident Reporting Scheme module written and designed by Healthcare Australia is available online and gives learners a thorough understanding of:

 – The definitions of serious and critical incidents

 – How these incidents should be reported – internally and externally to the police and the Commission

 – What happens after a reported incident