Aged care watchdog: Reports 23 per cent increase in complaints

(Media Release from Minister Wyatt’s office)

The past year has seen a 23 per cent increase in the number of complaints received by the Aged Care Complaints Commissioner.

The Aged Care Complaints Commissioner’s 2017–18 annual report also shows that the Commissioner referred 1,073 cases to the Australian Aged Care Quality Agency, a rise of 130 per cent over the previous year.

The report was tabled in Parliament today by the Minister for Senior Australians and Aged Care, Ken Wyatt AM.

“This report indicates increasing awareness of the capacity of the Complaints Commissioner and growing concern about aged care issues, with a record 5,779 complaints received,” Minister Wyatt said.

“While significantly more people are using the national service, the data shows that most of their complaints are being managed effectively, with 73 per cent resolved within a 30 days and 93 per cent resolved within 90 days.”

Each complaint is triaged, based on the circumstances and seriousness of the complaint.

The Complaints Commissioner is a free, independent service that provides advice, guidance and education in resolving complaints about aged care services subsidised by the Australian Government.

In January 2019, the Complaints Commissioner and the Quality Agency will join to form part of the new Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission.

“I am confident the new Commission will better target sub-standard care,” Minister Wyatt said. “It will be a central point to identify failures, highlight quality concerns and have them quickly rectified.

“Any concerns about quality of care will be managed by the one agency, making it easier for everyone to know who they can contact, and further enhancing the complaints policing and resolution process.

“The Complaints Commissioner’s growing activity – which will continue through the new Quality and Safety Commission – highlights how our Government is getting on with the job of improving aged care, as the recently announced Royal Commission goes about its important work.”

The Aged Care Complaints Commissioner’s report is available online at the Aged Care Complaints Commissioner website.

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