Aged Care Complaints Commission fields 5000 calls

Over 5000 people have contacted the new Aged Care Complaints Commission in the first six months of its operation.

Commissioner Rae Lamb said that in the six months from 1 January 2016 - when the office was established – to 30 June 2016 the number of complaints rose by 11 per cent to 2153, up from 1953 in the previous corresponding period.

More than 30 per cent of the contacts were outside the scope of the commission.

The report released this week was the first since the transition from the former Aged Care Complaints Scheme and Aged Care Commissioner to the Aged Care Complaints Commissioner.

Commissioner Lamb said the rise in the number of complaints may have been due the public becoming more aware of the office and the support it could offer.

The report showed that family members or representatives of people receiving care accounted for 59 per cent of complaints, while 16 per cent were from care recipients.

The remaining 25 per cent were from anonymous complainants, other interested people, such as friends of care recipients, and referrals from other agencies.

Residential aged care made up 81 per cent of complaints, home care packages accounted for 13 per cent, five per cent related to the Commonwealth Home Support Program and one per cent to flexible and community care services.

The most common issues complained about for residential care were clinical care, the administration of medication, continence management and the choice and dignity of the person receiving care.

For home care services, the most commonly complained about issues related to fees and other financial concerns and communication between the service and person receiving care.

A total of 91 per cent of complaints were finalised within 90 days, up from 88 per cent in the previous corresponding period.

On a state basis, Victoria topped the list with 650 complaints, NSW had 596 complaints and Queensland 401.

Aged Care Minister Sussan Ley welcomed Commissioner Lamb’s findings.

“The report shows that people – consumers, family, carers and loved ones – are speaking up when it comes to concerns about their aged care services and this is a good thing.”

Click here to view the report online.

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