Aged care advisory committee meeting on abuse claims
A special meeting of the Aged Care Advisory Committee will take place in Canberra on Tuesday 14 March 2006 to explore solutions to allegations of abuse in Australia’s aged care facilities, the Federal Minister for Ageing, Senator Santoro, has announced.
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26 February 2006
The Minister for Ageing, Senator Santo Santoro, today announced that the special meeting of the Aged Care Advisory Committee (ACAC), which he foreshadowed on Tuesday, will take place in Canberra on Tuesday 14 March 2006.
Membership of the ACAC comprises representatives of the aged care industry, staff and residents and is regarded as a very representative committee.
"This special meeting of the Committee will explore solutions to allegations of abuse in Australia’s aged care facilities," Senator Santoro said.
"I have also written to my aged care ministerial colleagues in each State and Territory letting them know that I wish to arrange a meeting in the near future.
"I am also very keen for members of the public and aged care industry professionals who have ideas and suggestions for improvement to have input into the process."
Senator Santoro said he will ask the Committee to look at a broad range of remedial suggestions, including police checks on staff, the issue of mandatory reporting of suspected or actual abuse, how well the complaints scheme is working and whether improvements can be made, and whistleblower protection.
"The trigger for this special meeting was the shocking allegation of sexual abuse that occurred in a Melbourne nursing home last year," Senator Santoro said.
"On Wednesday I took the opportunity to meet with the granddaughters of one of the alleged victims to hear a first hand account of their experiences.
"I assured them that I would do all I could to bring about an improvement in the aged care system of Australia, with a view to preventing the sort of abuse that their late grandmother experienced.
"I also intend to meet with relevant elder abuse advocacy groups to hear their views and the feedback they receive from older people, relatives and the community.
"Members of the public who wish to put their views to The Aged Care Advisory Committee should write to me directly: Senator the Hon Santo Santoro, Parliament House, Canberra, ACT 2600 or send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org. All views and feedback submitted will be treated with the requested confidentiality," Senator Santoro said.
The members of the Aged Care Advisory Committee are attached:
Media contact: Kay McNiece 0412 132 585
Aged Care Advisory CommitteeMr David Deans
Councils of the Ageing (COTA) National Seniors
Dr Susan Koch
Royal College of Nursing Australia
Mr Richard Gray
Catholic Health Australia
Ms Mary Reid
Ms June Heinrich
Baptist Community Services
Dr Jeff Rowland
Australian Society for Geriatric Medicine
Ms Betty Johnson AO
Older Women’s Network
Ms Jill Iliffe
Australian Nursing Federation
Dr Brendan Kay
The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners
Mr Greg Mundy
Aged and Community Services Australia
Mr Glenn Rees
Mrs Elizabeth Orr
Mr Rod Young
Aged Care Association Australia
Ms Debbie Rigby
Pharmaceutical Society of Australia
Ms Penelope Mogridge
Health Professions Council of Australia
Dr Mark Yates
Australian Medical Association
Mr Wayne Penniall
Australian Government Department of Veterans’ Affairs
Ms Sandra Hills
Brotherhood of St Laurence
Mr Mark Brandon
Aged Care Standards and Accreditation Agency Ltd
Ms Shirley Bains
Australian Pensioners and Superannuants
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