Aged Care Royal Commission into Quality & Safety
The final report of the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety, released in March, included 148 recommendations aimed at improving Australia’s aged care system.
While the Royal Commission has finished, COTA Victoria is encouraging everyone to continue the conversation for a better aged care system. We need to speak up and out loud and demand for Government to swiftly act upon the Royal Commission’s recommendations and ensure Australia’s aged care system is fixed once and for all! Please join us and help advocate for change!
Older people are willing and able to participate in continuing to pursue better quality aged care in Australia. This was evident at our COTA in Conversation online event hosted in April, Will Australia’s Aged Care System be Fixed? About 90 people from throughout Victoria and interstate joined a panel of older people to unpack the commission’s recommendations and test the political appetite for the generational change needed. We have included a recording of this event below, or you can go to Will Australia’s Aged Care System be Fixed?. For people with hearing challenges, please turn on the closed captions (CC) on the YouTube platform; you can also pause, or fast forward to listen to the speakers of interest to you. There is also information about our call to action and Aged Care Advocacy Took Kit available for you to take further action.
Some background information for you:
- For a simple overview of the Royal Commission’s recommendations, check out this article entitled 4 key takeaways from the aged care royal commission’s final report
- To access all 148 recommendations in full, check out the recommendations document on the Royal Commission website.
- To find out which issues COTA Australia is prioritising in their advocacy around the Royal Commission, check out this Policy Alert.
- COTA A has led a Joint Aged Care Consumer Organisations Statement on implementing the Aged Care Royal Commission’s Final report, encouraging the government not to ignore aged care reform.
- For any additional queries, please email email@example.com
Immediate concerns about aged care
If you have more immediate concerns about any aged care services you or someone you know is receiving, try to resolve the issue directly with the provider. If you’re unhappy with their response, you can make a complaint directly to the Aged Care Quality & Safety Commission, which is the regulatory body that investigates complaints. You can lodge a complaint online or in writing, or by phoning 1800 951 822.
It will be up to the Australian Government to progress most of the recommendations from the Royal Commission. You can help advocate the need for this to happen quickly by meeting with or sending a letter to your federal Member of Parliament (MP). You can find your Federal MP by using Parliament of Australia search feature on their website or by phoning the Parliament of Australia switchboard on (02) 6277 7111.
We understand that some people may not feel confident or comfortable doing this in person. If you don’t feel comfortable meeting your MP in person, you might like to request that you meet via video or teleconference instead. Not sure where to start? Check out our seven simple steps to arranging a meeting with your MP.
If you’d prefer to write to your MP, you might like to take a look at our sample letter to see what sort of information it is useful to include. Feel free to adapt this letter as you see fit. In general, you should keep your letter to a maximum of 2-pages and cover:
- Who you are
- What the problem is
- How the problem impacts upon you and other people in your electorate
- What needs to be done to fix the problem
- What you want your MP to do to help you fix the problem
If there is a particular issue or recommendation from the Royal Commission into Aged Care that you feel strongly about, you might like to focus on this when meeting with or writing to your MP.
In summary, the aged care advocacy tool kit links are:
- Seven steps to arranging a meeting with your MP
- Sample letter to a Federal MP
- Generic briefing paper for federal MPs
- Tips and sample letter to your local news editor
If you’d like to take a more general approach though, you might be interested to read COTA Australia’s response to the royal commission and understand how they are prioritising the following issues in their advocacy work:
- Establish a new Aged Care Act.
Future reforms to the aged care system must be underpinned by a new Aged Care Act. This Act must be based on human rights principles, increase choice and control for consumers and create enforceable rights and protections for older Australians receiving aged care.
- Develop a plan to clear the Home Care waiting list.
The Australian Government must establish a roadmap, including time frames, for clearing the current waiting list for Home Care Packages and ensuring all new applicants receive an aged care package (at their assessed level) within one month of the date of their assessment.
- Develop a plan for workforce reform.
The Australian Government must invest in an appropriately skilled and qualified workforce that can keep up with consumer demand. This will involve setting minimum requirements and a star rating system for staff working in aged care.
- Increase quality and safety through stronger regulation.
The Australian Government must increase the capacity of the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission and ensure it has the capability to act swiftly to address issues of non-compliance where consumers’ rights are not being upheld.
- Increase transparency across the aged care system.
Consumers need to be able to make informed choices about the services they receive. That’s why it’s critical that there is publicly available information on service provider performance, quality and safety measures and service costs.
While aged care is a federal issue, there are also some things the Victorian Government can do to improve the support that is available to older people. Some of these activities were identified in the Royal Commission’s recommendations.
You might have your own ideas about what role the State Government should play. For now, though, COTA Victoria is asking for the following issues to be prioritised:
- Improving access to aids, equipment and assistive technology.
- Improving access to state-based health services.
- Improving transfers between hospitals and residential care.
We’ll be adding to this page in the coming weeks to let you know how you can help us advocate for change in Victoria.
Older people share their aged care experiences with COTA Victoria
COTA Victoria has continually collaborated with older Victorians since the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety was announced to learn more about their aged care experiences.
Pre COVID-19, COTA Victoria travelled around the state, hosting nine information sessions, mostly in partnership with seniors’ groups and councils to listen to almost 300 consumers, carers and family members share their stories, and to encourage them to make a submission.
The goal of the sessions was to empower older people with the know-how and confidence to write their own submission or help someone else write one. To read more, go to: What we want in aged care.
To contact COTA Victoria’s policy staff about the Royal Commission please email: firstname.lastname@example.org