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28 November 2018
In West Australian Noongar language I say “kaya wangju” – hello and welcome. I acknowledge the traditional custodians of the land on which we’re meeting, the Ngunnawal people, and pay my respects to Elders past and present.
I am delighted to be with you this morning.
It is great to have the opportunity to speak about the Australian Government’s new Aged Care Quality Standards.
Make no mistake the Government is steadfast in its commitment to improve the quality of aged care provided to our senior Australians.
The implementation of the new Standards is a key element of transforming this commitment into a reality and we want to work closely with the sector to make this happen.
The Standards are also an important element of delivering a single quality framework which will be of significant benefit to the aged care industry.
The framework is part of the reforms being progressively implemented in aged care to create a competitive, market based system where consumers drive quality.
I am pleased to inform you that on 28 September I signed the legislation making the new Aged Care Quality Standards law.
This means the new Standards will be introduced on 1 July 2019.
From 1 July 2019, the new Standards will apply to all aged care services including residential care, home care, and flexible care, and services under the Commonwealth Home Support Programme.
This is the first upgrade of residential aged care standards in 20 years.
The new Standards place consumers at the centre of their care and focus on giving people greater choice and flexibility.
The new Standards protect the right for consumers to be treated with dignity and respect, and maintain their identity. They support consumers to make informed choices about their care and services, and to live the life they choose.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank the people involved in the development of the new Standards including, many of you who are here this morning.
In particular, I would like to acknowledge the important work of the members of the Standards Technical Advisory Group.
This group is made up of consumer representatives, providers, peak bodies, academics and experts in developing and assessing aged care or health standards and has contributed enormously to the development of new Standards.
The new Standards reflect the advisory group’s consideration of feedback from extensive public consultation, recommendations arising from the Carnell/Paterson review, and piloting of the Standards by the Australian Aged Care Quality Agency.
I’d also like to thank the:
- Quality Agency
- Complaints Commissioner
- National Aged Care Alliance Quality Sub Group
- provider and consumer peaks
- providers who participated in the pilot
- consumers who provided invaluable feedback, and
- Aged Care Sector Committee Quality Diversity Sub Group
This is a watershed moment in the history of aged care in Australia and the future will be both exciting and challenging.
While the Royal Commission will drive change in the aged care industry, preventing elder abuse and mistreatment is everyone’s business because all senior Australians deserve to be treated with respect and dignity.
We know most aged care services across the country and their wonderful staff provide outstanding care, but we must ensure there are no exceptions—we simply cannot compromise on the quality of aged care delivered to senior Australians.
The implementation of the new Standards is a key element in protecting the health and wellbeing of senior Australians using aged care services, while also promoting safe and high quality aged care across the country.
The Government is driving the aged care reform agenda, but to be successful we need the support and commitment of the entire aged care sector.
Thank you, enjoy your breakfast and have a wonderful day.