Powerful New Reforms to Ensure Safe, Quality Aged Care

The Australian Government will ensure Australians in the aged care system are better cared for, through raising the quality benchmarks that homes must meet.

Page last updated: 18 April 2018

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18 April 2018

The Turnbull Government will ensure Australians in the aged care system are better cared for, through raising the quality benchmarks that homes must meet.

The significant reforms will give senior Australians and their families confidence they will be properly cared for and will, for the first time, establish a new national independent Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission and increase transparency through a publically available rating against quality standards.

At the heart of the latest Turnbull Government reforms, aged care regulation, compliance and complaints handling will be brought together in a new and independent Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission.

The establishment of the Commission is in response to the Carnell-Paterson review into failures at South Australian’s Oakden Older Persons Mental Health Service. The Review, commissioned by the Turnbull Government, found the current aged care regulatory framework is fragmented and does not adequately provide the assurance the community expects.

“The unified new Commission will be a responsive, one-stop shop to prevent failures, highlight quality concerns and have them quickly rectified,” Minister Wyatt said.

“This builds on the Government’s recent introduction of unannounced re-accreditation audits across every one of Australia’s residential aged care facilities.

“Importantly, the new Commission will give senior Australians and their loved ones a single point of contact when they need help in dealing with claims of sub-standard care.

“Risks to senior Australians will be investigated promptly and care failures identified faster.”

The new Commission will start from 1 January 2019 and will bring together the functions of the Australian Aged Care Quality Agency, the Aged Care Complaints Commissioner and the aged care regulatory functions of the Department of Health.

A new Chief Clinical Advisor will provide advice to the Commission, particularly on complex clinical matters.

“The new integrated agency will give the more than 1.3 million senior Australians in Commonwealth aged care greater confidence in the regulation of that care,” Minister Wyatt said.

“Ensuring senior Australians and their families have clear, concise information when choosing aged care options is also critical.”

Additional Turnbull Government quality reforms will include:

    • Developing options, in consultation with the aged care sector, for a Serious Incident Response Scheme to ensure the right systems are in place to identify an incident and prevent it from occurring again
    • A performance rating against quality standards
    • A user-friendly provider comparison tool on the My Aged Care website
“We recognise that the vast majority of providers give consistent, quality care to their residents. But, as we have seen, there can be failures. We must ensure that disasters like Oakden are never repeated,” Minister Wyatt said.

“Our senior Australians have built the nation that we enjoy today. They have rightly earned the respect of the community and must be cared for with the dignity they deserve.”

Media contact: Nick Way, Media Adviser 0419 835 449
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