The Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety’s Interim Report lays the foundations for the fundamental reform and redesign of Australia’s aged care system.
The Interim Report, entitled Neglect, covers much, but not all, of the work of Commissioners Richard Tracey AM, RFD, QC and Lynelle Briggs AO through to September 2019. It has found that the aged care system fails to meet the needs of our older citizens in the delivery of safe and quality care.
Neglect sets out what we have learned to date, draws some preliminary conclusions and outlines key areas for our work over the next 12 months.
It is clear that a fundamental overhaul of the design, objectives, regulation and funding of aged care in Australia is required – not merely patching up. The Royal Commission is committed to systemic reform.
This will be the central purpose of the Final Report and it also informs the Commissioners’ approach to the Interim Report. The breadth and complexity of this task is great.
A multitude of inquiries and reviews into the aged care sector since 1997 has had little impact as successive governments have failed to act on most of their recommendations.
The Final Report will recommend comprehensive reform and major transformation of the aged care system in Australia. We will chart a new direction for the sector, bringing a clear sense of purpose and of quality, and a renewed focus on compassion and kindness.
In this Interim Report Commissioners have identified three areas which require immediate action:
- to provide more Home Care Packages to reduce the waiting list for higher level care at home
- to respond to the significant over-reliance on chemical restraint in aged care, including through the seventh Community Pharmacy Agreement
- to stop the flow of younger people with disability going into aged care, and expediting the process of getting those younger people who are already in aged care out.
The Final Report will be handed to the Governor-General on 12 November 2020.