Review of National Aged Care Quality Regulatory Processes

This review looked at why aged care processes did not address the failures of care described in the 2017 Oakden review. The review report made 10 recommendations to improve processes. The Australian Government has responded with a range of measures.

Why was the review conducted?

On 1 May 2017, the Australian Government announced the review in response to findings from the  South Australian Chief Psychiatrist’s review of the Oakden Older Persons Mental Health Service.

The Chief Psychiatrist’s report described failures in the quality of care at Oakden.

When did the review occur?

The review ran between 11 May and 30 September 2017.

What did the review cover?

The review looked at:

  • why processes did not address the failures of care described in the Oakden report
  • how to improve processes to quickly detect and fix failures

View the full terms of reference (PDF, 2.7 MB) on the Consultation Hub website.

What were the findings?

The review found more reform to quality regulatory processes is needed. It made 10 recommendations, including:

  • set up an independent Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission to manage accreditation, compliance and complaints
  • require residential aged care services to take part in the National Aged Care Quality Indicators Program
  • set up a serious incident response scheme (SIRS)
  • include unannounced visits when re-accrediting residential care providers
  • improve complaints handling

Read the full findings in the review report.

What happened next?

The Australian Government:  

Who conducted the review?

The independent reviewers were:

  • Ms Kate Carnell AO — an experienced public administrator and regulator
  • Professor Ron Paterson ONZM — an international expert on patients' rights, complaints, health care quality and the regulation of healthcare professions

Who was consulted?

The review received input from aged care recipients, their families, health and aged care service providers, regulators and key experts.

Public consultation

The public consultation process ran between 19 June and 24 July 2017.

The review received over 400 submissions. You can view the published responses on the Consultation Hub.


The reviewers held three forums with consumers and carers.


The reviewers met with over 40 individual stakeholders including regulators, advocacy groups, service providers, peak bodies and health and aged care experts.

    Key dates

    • 1 May 2017
      Government announces review
    • 19 June 2017
      Submissions open
    • 24 July 2017
      Submissions close
    • 25 October 2017
      Minister Wyatt releases the review report 


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