POWERFUL NEW AGED CARE QUALITY AND SAFETY COMMISSION

A new era in Australian aged care is beginning, with legislation passing Parliament to establish the nation’s first, independent Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission.

 

The unified new Commission will begin operations on 1 January 2019, with funding of almost $300 million over four years, including an additional $48.2 million to expand monitoring, secure aged care quality and employ a network of dozens of additional senior compliance officers.

 

The Commission will be underpinned by a new aged care Charter of Rights and is set to enforce a new, single set of Quality Standards, the first upgrade of standards in

20 years.

 

The Commission will integrate and streamline the governance roles of the current Aged Care Complaints Commissioner and the Australian Aged Care Quality Agency creating a new one stop shop. From January 2020, it will also enforce the Department of Health’s aged care licensing responsibilities.

 

Senior Australians are at the heart of this reform. The role of the Commission will be to implement a strong but fair regulatory framework that will protect and enhance senior Australians’ quality of life, safety, health and well-being.

 

Led by independent Commissioner Janet Anderson the Commission will better target aged care homes that provide sub-standard care and will be a single, trusted point of contact for aged care recipients, their families and loved ones, and aged care providers.

 

The Commission will oversee a tripling of unannounced re-accreditation audits of residential aged care homes in 2019, compared with 2018, and a significant increase in unannounced inspections, to more than 3,000 next year.

 

It will also work with the aged care sector to establish a Serious Incident Response Scheme to improve risk management and prevent and quickly resolve care challenges.

 

Through this integrated and responsive agency, the more than 1.3 million Australians who receive various forms of Commonwealth aged care support and the 366,000 aged care staff who care for them will have increased confidence in aged care regulation and the upholding of their rights.

 

The establishment of the new Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission highlights the Morrison Government’s determination to implement comprehensive aged care improvements, including stronger regulation, professional workforce development and sustainability.

 

As the aged care Royal Commission goes about its critical work, our Government’s aged care reform agenda will continue at full pace, providing senior Australians and their families with more certainty in quality care delivery.

 

The establishment of the new Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission is part of our Government’s record aged care funding boost, with the 2018-19 Federal Budget increasing aged care spending by $5 billion over four years.

 

In the lead up to the launch of the new Commission on 1 January, anyone who has concerns over the quality of aged care or services should contact the Aged Care Complaints Commissioner on 1800 550 552 or go to www.agedcarecomplaints.gov.au .