New aged care restraint regulations to take effect from 1 July 

3 April 2019

The Federal Government has announced regulatory changes that minimise the use of physical and chemical restraints in aged care homes.

The changes are intended to ensure restraint is used only as a last resort.

The amendments to the Quality of Care Principles 2014 come into effect on 1 July 2019 and require providers to satisfy a number of conditions before restraint can be used, including:

  • assessment by an approved health practitioner (physical restraint);
  • or assessment by a medical practitioner or nurse practitioner who has prescribed the medication (chemical restraint).

The changes complement the Aged Care Quality Standards which also apply from 1 July 2019 in requiring residential aged care providers to document (within the consumer’s care and services plan) the behaviours that are relevant to the need for the restraint, the alternatives to restraint that have been used, and reasons the restraint is necessary.

For further details on the legislative changes and Explanatory Statement that relate to specific approved provider requirements on the use of restraints, please see the Quality of Care Principles 2014.