Seniors will be “at the heart” of new independent Commission into aged care complaints system

Aged Care, Industry December 4, 2018

Independent from the recently announced Royal Commission into Aged Care, a $300 million Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission is ready to begin making significant improvements across residential aged care facilities with the first Commissioner Janet Anderson being appointed in October.

The independent Commission is a fundamental part of the Federal Government’s response to the findings unveiled within the Carnell-Paterson Review into residential aged care. From 2019, the Commission will act to integrate the roles of the current Aged Care Complaints Commissioner and the Australian Aged Care Quality Agency.

In a recent announcement, Minister for Health Ken Wyatt confirmed that the Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety is slated to kick off on January 1, 2019.

The Commission is expected to have a budget of $300 million over a four-year period and will reportedly employ dozens of compliance officers.

According to Mr Wyatt, the Commission will follow a new Charter of Rights for aged care and will help to establish a new “single set” of standards which have not been revisited in 20 years.

Speaking of the Commission in an announcement on November 27, Mr Wyatt said “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 wellbeing”.

Alongside the Royal Commission, the independent Commission is promising a “new era in aged care” and will be led by Ms Anderson who will monitor 3,000 unannounced inspections of residential aged care facilities.

“Her appointment and the independent Commission will help usher in a new era in certainty, accountability and confidence in aged care in Australia.”

Ms Anderson will also reportedly oversee assessments, complaint resolutions, accreditations and compliance of aged care providers. Unannounced inspections will continue after the independent Commission’s conclusion, with $48 million being allocated to expand monitoring and compliance teams.

“The Commission will be a one stop shop for aged care residents, their families and aged care providers on aged care quality and safety matters,” said Mr Wyatt.

“Senior Australians and their families will know who to contact when they need help with a complaint, a concern or when something goes wrong. They will know that the aged care system is safe and will support their choices, rather than make choices for them.”

Although the Commission will not begin until January 1, 2019, anyone who has recognised concerns over the quality of aged care services can visit the Aged Care Complaints Commissioner site or call 1800 550 552.

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