Inquiry into the Quality of Care in Residential Aged Care Facilities in Australia
As an overarching comment, the Law Council is concerned that the Inquiry addresses only some aspects of the failings of Australia’s aged care facilities and treatment of older persons. The Law Council considers that much more needs to be done; namely, a review of the entire system with a particular focus on the interaction of State and Commonwealth agencies that regulate and have the ability to impact on each aspect of the aged care quality provided to a consumer.
This would require a review from the perspective of the consumer, rather than a ‘top down’ approach focussing on improving high level policies. The Law Council is concerned that there is a growing separation between different State and Commonwealth agencies and the various policies which are independently developed at different levels to address particular issues, resulting in a program that does not necessarily improve outcomes for residents.
The Law Council’s submission addresses each of the terms of reference of the Inquiry as follows:
- incidence of all mistreatment of residents in residential aged care facilities and associated reporting and response mechanisms, including the treatment of whistleblowers;
- effectiveness of the Australian Aged Care Quality Agency (Agency), the Aged Care Complaints Commission and the Charter of Care: Recipients’ Rights and Responsibilities in ensuring adequate consumer protection in residential aged care; and
- adequacy of consumer protection arrangements for aged care residents who do not have family, friends or other representatives to help them exercise choice and their rights in care.
You can read the full submission below.