The Serious Incident Response Scheme (SIRS) is a new initiative to help prevent and reduce incidents of abuse and neglect in residential aged care services.
SIRS will require providers of residential aged care to manage and take reasonable steps to prevent incidents, with a focus on the safety, health, wellbeing and quality of life of aged care consumers.
The SIRS Aged care legislation amendment (Serious Incident Response Scheme and other measures) Bill 2020, first introduced to the House of Representatives in December, was passed by Parliament on Monday 15 February 2021, paving the way for the scheme to commence on 1 April 2021.
It is subsidised by the Australian Government and administered by the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission (ACQSC).
In March, the ACQSC published detailed guidelines for residential aged care providers in relation to the SIRS, as well as best practice guidance on effective incident management systems.
Both pieces of guidance are available on the ACQSC website at https://bit.ly/388pDIY
The ACQSC has also published a range of resources, in addition to the guidance mentioned above, on SIRS to support aged care providers.
A series of four free webinars conducted during February and March 2021 are available to view, and three fact sheets can be downloaded too: What is the SIRS? (one version aimed at aged care providers, the other at consumers), and What is an Effective Incident Management System? (aimed at aged care providers).
The ACQSC website also addresses some basic questions about SIRS, such as ‘What is the Serious Incident Response Scheme (SIRS)?’, ‘Why is the SIRS important?’, ‘How will the SIRS work?’, ‘When will the SIRS commence?’, and ‘The role of the Commission under the SIRS’.
All the ACQSC SIRS-related materials can be accessed at www.agedcarequality.gov.au/sirs