New Serious Incident Response Scheme introduced

1 April

As of 1st of April 2021 a new incident reporting scheme was brought into residential aged care. This is called the Serious Incident Response Scheme (SIRS) and this will replace the prior Mandatory Reporting Scheme.

SIRS is a new initiative to help prevent and reduce incidents of abuse and neglect in residential aged care services subsidised by the Australian Government. SIRS sets new arrangements for approved providers of residential aged care to manage and take reasonable action to prevent incidents with a focus on the safety, health, well-being and quality of life of aged care consumers. 

The SIRS will have 2 key components. These are:
• Incident management obligations, and
• Compulsory reporting obligations.

Incident management obligations

The SIRS requires every residential aged care service to have in place an effective incident management system – a set of protocols, processes, and standard operating procedures that staff are trained to use. This means adopting a systematic approach to minimise the risk of and respond to, incidents that occur in a residential care setting. An incident management system is vital in supporting residential age care services to effectively manage risks to their consumers, visitors and staff.

Samarinda already has a robust incident management system in place so this is unlikely to change, however where things will change is in our compulsory reporting obligations where there has been an expansion in reporting.

Compulsory reporting obligations

In addition to managing all incidents, approved providers will be required to report serious incidents involving aged care consumers to the Commission, and the police where the incident is of a criminal nature. This reporting includes incidents that occur, or are alleged or suspected to have occurred, and will include incidents involving a care recipient with cognitive or mental impairment (such as dementia).