The second edition of the National Safety and Quality Health Service (NSQHS) Standards was released at the end of 2017. This latest version addresses gaps identified in the first edition, including mental health and cognitive impairment, health literacy, end-of-life care and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health.
The NSQHS Standards second edition recognise that specific actions focusing on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health and wellbeing can help ensure that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people receive care that is culturally appropriate, evidence based and easily accessible.
In collaboration with the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Standing Committee, the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care (ACSQHC) consulted on how the NSQHS Standards could be used to improve the safety and quality of care provided to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Based on their findings, 6 actions have been identified and included in the NSQHS Standards, and a series of guides have been developed to support these.
According to the ACSQHC, the latest NSQHS Standards publication also ‘consolidates and streamlines standards and actions to make them clearer and easier to implement’. Australia’s health service organisations will be assessed against the new standards from 1 January 2019.