Our Victorian Public Healthcare Awards finalists – Celebrating Excellence in Aged Care

Nurse speaking with an elderly resident at the Kingston Centre

Our Monash Health Residential Aged Care team has seized an opportunity to greatly improve the quality of life for residents with complex care needs.  

By successfully adapting an existing Monash Health Prevention of Violence and Aggression (POVA) training program, they have improved the quality of life for many and increased the capability of the Residential Aged Care workforce when responding to escalating behaviours. 

Recognised for their achievements, this innovative team has been announced as a finalist in the Excellence in Aged Care category at the Victorian Public Healthcare Awards.  

Rising to the challenge 

Monash Health operates four residential care facilities with 195 beds in the south-eastern suburbs of Melbourne. Of these beds, 105 are for residents living with dementia or chronic mental health conditions, many with associated symptoms of distress and requiring more support than is available in mainstream facilities. 

Gaps were identified in the capability of care teams to fully support and manage residents with complex needs. In some cases, this was impacting their clinical function and ability to engage with health and wellbeing programs 

The team recognised that the existing Monash Health POVA training program may provide an opportunity to upskill employees in these areas. The training had only ever been delivered in acute and subacute settings.  

Aligned with Monash Health’s organisational priority of Excellence in Timely Care, the program was adapted to focus on the Aged Care Royal Commission recommendations 

Jill Jukes delivering POVA training to a room of employees

A lasting impact 

Launched in 2022, over 200 employees have attended the tailored program to date, where additional resident management skills are provided through a comprehensive 8-hour program.  

With such positive feedback, a decision was made to make this training available for all residential services, administrative and health and wellbeing employees.  

It is now offered monthly to capture all new starters. 

The targeted upskilling strategy has resulted in: 

  • A significant reduction in behaviour-modifying medications for residents and the prescribing of antipsychotics has been reduced by 29% over the last six months. 
  • A noticeable increase in resident social engagement in indoor and outdoor activities, and despite this, falls have reduced by 40% over the last eight months. Resident transfers to Emergency due to incidents or clinical deterioration have also decreased. 
  • Resident interaction with one another has greatly improved, with incidents of aggression reduced by 50%. 
  • In 2022, the Star Rating results for consumer experience at all Monash Health sites indicated that there was ‘improvement needed’. By April 2023, all sites had improved, with 72% of all residents stating the care received was excellent, good or moderate. 

“I am delighted our team has been selected as a finalist. Their innovative work adapting the Prevention of Violence and Aggression training program has made a significant difference to the care our teams provide and to the lives of so many residents. It will have a lasting impact.” said Jill Jukes, General Manager, Residential Care. 

The Award winners will be announced on 16 November. From all at Monash Health, congratulations to the entire team for being selected as finalists.  

We are right behind you – good luck! 

Approved by Andrew Perta, Interim Chief Operating Officer – Aged, Community and Mental Health.