Report on the Inquiry into the Quality of Care in Residential Aged Care Facilities in Australia

Elder abuse Community Visitors Older people Aged care Australia
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Terms of Reference:

The Standing Committee on Health, Aged Care and Sport will inquire into and report on:

  • The incidence of all mistreatment of residents in residential aged care facilities and associated reporting and response mechanisms, including the treatment of whistle blowers;
  • The effectiveness of the Australian Aged Care Quality 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
  • The 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.

Chapter 2 outlines the current system for the delivery of aged care in Australia, and discusses the changes to the current system which will take effect on 1 January 2019.

Chapter 3 examines allegations of mistreatment of residents in residential aged care facilities, and the reporting mechanisms in place to respond to these incidences. This chapter also highlights the experience of residents, families and representatives, as well as staff, in making complaints or raising concerns.

Chapter 4 addresses issues of consumer rights and protection, including for those who do not have family, friends or representatives.

Chapter 5 discusses the changing nature of Australia’s population, the next generation of residential aged care consumers, and innovation in aged care facilities.

The report makes 14 recommendations, including:

  • The development of national guidelines for the Community Visitors Scheme, including policies related to observed or suspected abuse or neglect;
  • A review of the Aged Care Funding Instrument to ensure it is providing for adequate levels of care, is indexed annually and includes for penalty breaches;
  • A Medicare Benefits Schedule review of medical practitioner visits to residential aged care facilities;
  • That one Registered Nurse is always on site in residential aged care facilities; monitoring and reporting on the correlation between standards of care and staffing mixes;
  • An independent review and parliamentary inquiry into the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission after two years of operation;
  • Ensuring that unannounced visits by regulators to residential aged care facilities are not confined to business hours;
  • Amending the Aged Care Act 1997 to limit and place conditions on the use of restrictive practices in residential aged care facilities; and
  • Making information regarding the number of complaints and complainants at individual aged care facilities available on the My Aged Care website.
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