Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety Begins

The Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety officially began on Friday, 18 January with a preliminary hearing.

Richard Tracey and Lynelle Briggs are serving as Royal Commissioners.

“The likely major themes to be addressed include: quality and safety, access and inclusion, young people with disability, interfaces and transitions, future challenges and opportunities, and how to deliver quality in a sustainable way,” Ms Briggs said.

“We will look at the expectations of Australians for quality and safe care, how and where it should be provided and the workforce implications, amongst other things.”

She acknowledged that there were many positive examples of high-quality care within the sector. However, she added, “there has been a rising torrent of concern that the aged care system is faltering in certain areas of safety and quality and that it may not be fit for purpose.”

“The hallmark of a civilised society is how it treats its most vulnerable people and our elderly are often amongst our most physically, emotionally and financially vulnerable,” Mr Tracey said.

Uniting Church NSW and ACT Moderator Rev. Simon Hansford said that the church, “can be very proud of our agencies — Uniting and Wesley Mission — who have a long history in providing aged care services.”

“We remain committed to sustaining a safe and happy environment in which our residents can thrive,” Rev. Hansford said.

“We will work openly and transparently with the Royal Commission and, in the spirit of full co-operation, assist with the provision of information and submissions as and when needed.”

The Royal Commission will hold hearings in all capital cities as well as regional centres.

The first public hearing will be held on 11 February 2019 in Adelaide, continuing into the week of 18 February.

Claerwen Little is the National Director of UnitingCare Australia. Ms Little said that the Royal Commison was “an opportunity to create stronger communities and to ensure that people have the greatest choice possible about where and how they approach their life as they age.”

Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced the Royal Commission in October 2018, after more than 5,000 submissions from stakeholders.

The Royal Commission will provide its interim report by 31 October 2019. The final report is due on 30 April 2020.

For more information on the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety, including how to make a submission, visit the official website here.

If you have any concerns or would like to confidentially report an issue relating to any church agency services, please contact:

  • The anonymous and confidential independent hotline of the Uniting Church in Australia Synod of NSW and ACT , either by calling 1800 951 145 or leave your message at www.speakout.uca.org.au
  • Uniting 1800 864 846 (1800 UNITING), Have Your Say or email ask@uniting.org

Jonathan Foye is Insights’ Editor




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