We need to make the link between pain management and quality care clear and distinct. Historically, pain management has often suffered on account of arbitrary definitions of quality care.
Funding freezes to the Aged Care funding Instrument (ACFI) in 2016, resulted in the reduction of subsidy for the complex health care supplement which particularly impacted high-needs residents with complicated pain-management regimes. This subsequently led to the removal of essential pain management services such as necessary physiotherapy and palliative care and diminished the capacity of the sector to provide appropriate levels of pain management in aged care.
We must recognise that pain is an often underdiagnosed and underfunded area across aged care, an issue that has compounded problems across the sector.
Better pain management is inextricably linked to better quality care. It’s time that it is included in all policy and funding models across aged care.