Royal Commission Into Aged Care Quality And Safety: Communications Project

The VHA has drafted a strategy to support providers in telling the positive stories of public sector aged care, during the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety.

The aged care sector has been subject to 20 years of government directed reform as well as macro and micro market changes. Public perception of aged care is increasingly and disproportionately negative due to media coverage, under-funding, and often poor communication. The issues are significant and there has been a 30 per cent increase in complaints to the Aged Care Complaints Commissioner since the announcement of the Royal Commission.

However, aged care providers support over a quarter of a million Australians. The quality and diversity of services delivered in public sector residential aged care is remarkable. The positive impact on older people, their families and their communities, is immeasurable. The VHA aims to support providers to tell the positive stories of aged care, and this strategy will comprise three phased components, commencing in September 2019.

Tom Symondson, CEO of the VHA, has prepared a short video introduction to explain the purpose of the communications project. To view the video click on the image.

Content generation

This phase is identifying and creating good news pieces for websites, social media, newsletters, the media and all communications channels. In order to support providers to create content generation, the VHA has developed the Content Development Toolkit which is to be used by providers to generate stories and develop positive news pieces.

Content development toolkit

Case studies have been prepared to demonstrate key themes for content development.

  • Case study: Integrated services for complex care needs, CDAMS
  • Case study: Building our staff, Ballarat COOPs
  • Case study: Being there, Birch Pathway

Media engagement

Phase two will identify and engage media outlets to propel positive stories into the public domain. The VHA has prepared a media pack, for distributing to the media alongside a content piece, to provide background information, key messaging and statistics for use in media articles.

Media pack

Stakeholder engagement

The final phase involves working with key supporters to promote the story and to facilitate support to share positive news pieces. The VHA has developed a stakeholder outreach pack for providers to use when engaging stakeholders, for example the community, families of residents, local government and allied health services.

Stakeholder outreach pack

The VHA will provide support to aged care providers to use these resources through a series of videos, briefings and webinars. Details will be released soon.

If you require any assistance implementing these resources, contact Zhoe Jess, Manager Communications and Policy at zhoe.jess@vha.org.au .