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 subsidised by the Australian Government. This new scheme is also linked to the Aged Care Standards 6: Feedback and Complaints and 8: Organisational Governance.

SIRS is to commence from 1 April 2021. Under this scheme, residential aged care providers will be required to do everything possible to reduce the risk of serious incidents involving residents, and if a serious incident does occur, to manage it effectively and report it to the Commission. Providers will also be expected to put in place measures to minimise the risk of a preventable incident recurring.

The scheme requires aged care providers to identify record, manage, resolve and report all serious incidents that occur, or are alleged or suspected to have occurred.

The range of serious incidents that will be reportable under SIRS, are broader than those currently. Training on this new scheme commenced in February for all of our nursing and management staff. An effective incident management system will help prevent incidents, support timely reporting and lift the quality of safety of care and services provided to residents.

Further information on the scheme can be found on the Department of Health website.