Millions of Australians use and interact with aged care services and expect the highest quality of care for themselves and their loved ones.
So when things go wrong, it’s the responsibility of the regulatory bodies – Australian Aged Care Quality Agency, the Aged Care Complaints Commissioner and the Department of Health – to make sure that these issues are resolved.
With an increase in negative stories hitting the media about incidents and abuse happening in aged care, a call to action was made to improve the regulatory processes that oversee the aged care sector.
Federal Aged Care Minister Ken Wyatt opened submissions mid-June to the Review of National Aged Care Quality Regulatory Processes, which were supposed to close for review at the end of July.
However, the Federal Government is extending the timeframe for the Review of National Aged Care Quality Regulatory Processes.
The people who know the day-to-day operations of aged care the best are the residents, their families and the dedicated people who work in the facilities.
Aged Care Minister Ken Wyatt AM said the reporting timeframe for the review was being extended by four weeks following a request from the Chair of the Review, Ms Kate Carnell.
“The health, safety and wellbeing of older people who reside in aged care services are of paramount importance to the Turnbull Government,” Minister Wyatt said.
“Given the high level of interest shown by regulatory bodies, aged care consumers, industry and academics, it has become clear that more time is needed for the review.
“The review panel has convened 39 meetings with key contributors and has received over 400 public submissions. Extending the review will allow the panel sufficient time to consider all submissions and the intelligence gathered through these many conversations.”
The Turnbull Government commissioned the review to determine why the Commonwealth’s aged care quality regulatory processes did not identify the extent of failures and shortcomings of Commonwealth-funded care in the Makk and McLeay wards at South Australia’s Oakden Older Persons Mental Health Service.
The review is also examining improvements to the regulatory system that would increase the likelihood of immediate detection, and swift remediation of failures in care by providers.
“The volume of information gathered during the consultation phase has exceeded expectations and due regard will be given to it,” Minister Wyatt said.
“Extending the reporting timeframe by four weeks will allow appropriate analysis of the aged care quality regulatory system’s processes, and I look forward to seeing the review outcomes.”
The review, which was due to report on 31 August 2017, will now provide its report to Minister Wyatt on 29 September 2017.