News from the Royal Commission

21 February 2020

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Counsel Assisting the Royal Commission have made a number of important recommendations in relation to the workforce including:

  • Mandatory staffing numbers and skills mix
  • Requirements for all aged care workers to have appropriate qualifications
  • Improved training for work in the sector
  • A system for registration of care workers in the sector
  • Improved working conditions in the sector

We are undertaking analysis of the recommendations made on 21 February and will provide further comments in the coming days.

In other news:

Deadline for submissions is 30 April 2020 
The Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety will continue accepting submissions from the public until the end of April 2020.

Submissions are a vital part of the Commission’s inquiry and help to inform our understanding of the lived experiences of older Australians, their families and carers, as well as that of those working in the industry.

The perspectives and suggestions of advocates, researchers, organisations and sector experts also contribute to the shaping of the Commissioners’ recommendations going into the Final Report.

Share your story 
Call 1800 960 711
You can tell your story in your own language.
We want to hear from everyone by 30 April 2020.
The commission will pay for an interpreter or for translations into English, at no cost to you.

About the Royal Commission Interim Report
The Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety released its Interim Report on 31 October 2019. The report was the first opportunity for the late Commissioner, the Honourable Richard Tracey AM RFD QC, and Commissioner Lynelle Briggs AO, to share preliminary conclusions of the Royal Commission ahead of the Final Report. 

While ultimate conclusions and recommendations will be reserved for the Final Report, the Commissioners identified in the Interim Report three areas for 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.
View the full report at agedcare.royalcommission.gov.au

The Final Report
The Final Report will recommend comprehensive reform and major transformation of the aged care system in Australia. It 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. The Final Report will be handed to the Governor- General on 12 November 2020.

Royal Commission Workshops
The Royal Commission is holding hearings in the form of workshops to gather evidence and test propositions and ideas with panels of witnesses focussed on a specific issue or topic.

Workshop participants are chosen based on their experience or expertise and past engagement with the Royal Commission. The Royal Commission will announce the details of workshops, including witnesses, in advance of each session and will contact those witnesses it intends to hear from.

What will happen at Workshops?
Group discussions between panels of individuals will be facilitated by Counsel Assisting and presided over by the Commissioners. Individual participants will not be examined in the way familiar in ordinary hearings but will be questioned where useful to test propositions or may be invited to expand on views expressed.

FAQs
Q: I have a complaint about aged care services I received, will the Royal Commission investigate it?
A: The Aged Care Royal Commission is an inquiry into aged care services in Australia and cannot investigate complaints. The agency that handles complaints about aged care is the Aged Care Quality and Complaints Commission which can be contacted on 1800 951 822.

Q: I have made a submission to the Aged Care Royal Commission. Now what?
A: When you have made a submission, you should receive a reference number. This is your record that your submission has been taken by the Royal Commission. If you did not receive one, you can contact us at 1800 960 711 or email ACRCenquiries@Royalcommission.gov.au and request one. If the Commission needs to contact you for further information, they will use the details you have provided. We cannot contact you if you have not supplied your personal details.

Read the full issue at agedcare.royalcommission.gov.au

Read the ANMF Royal Commission Update #8 at anmf.org.au.