The Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety is a landmark inquiry for Australian residential and in-home aged care.
The announcement of the Royal Commission followed more than 70 reviews, road maps and blueprints by successive governments over the past 10 years.
Despite ongoing reform, systematic failures leading to poor quality of care for older Australians continue. For example, statistics show the number of serious risk notices issued to aged care providers jumped 170 per cent in the past year and significant non-compliance leapt 292 per cent.
National Seniors’ own research revealed people using aged care services feared retribution if they complained. It also found that some of those who worked in the sector were so scarred by their experiences they vowed never to go into aged care themselves.
National Seniors welcomes the Royal Commission. It is an opportunity to get to the heart of the problems facing the sector and to put in place real reforms to transform aged care services for the benefit of older Australians.
The Royal Commission is scheduled to begin mid-January 2019 and will run until April 2020 when the final report is due. An interim report is due at the end of October 2019.
The contribution of National Seniors to the Royal Commission
National Seniors has been active in promoting the need for reform of aged care for many years. Our advocacy efforts have contributed to ongoing reform of the sector and will make an important contribution to the Royal Commission process.
Drawing on insights from our members and supporters (including emails, correspondence and survey responses about their direct experience of aged care) National Seniors has:
- participated in consultation processes to bring about ongoing change and reform to the aged care sector;
- engaged with the media and wider community to draw attention to aged care issues and trigger greater scrutiny of the sector; and
- participated in activities to inform the development of the Royal Commission, by making submissions to the process to develop the Terms of Reference and to the first national roundtable meeting convened by Commissioner Lynelle Briggs.
National Seniors will continue this work by developing a formal submission to the Royal Commission representing the concerns and experiences of our members and other stakeholders. This submission will also put forward recommendations for reform.