News

Aged Care Royal Commission Update – Hearings Begin!

Julie Maxfield

The Royal Commission into Aged Care and Quality Safety (“Commission”) began its official hearing of evidence in Adelaide on Monday 11 February 2019.

The Commission advised that in response to the request for all approved providers to “voluntarily” make written submissions about each aged care service they operated, the following were received:

  • From a total of almost approved 2000 providers, approximately 900 responses had been received, representing less than 50% of providers; and
  • From the largest 100 approved providers, 79 had responded in respect of most of the services they operated.

The Commission is currently considering the responses it received. It is certain that the approved providers who have not responded at all, or in full, will be followed up by the Commission, as it was specifically noted that approved providers which had not responded to the Commission’s request would be subjected to further careful scrutiny throughout the course of the Royal Commission. 

It is imperative if your organisation has not appropriate responded to the Commission’s request for information, that you do so without delay.

From Christmas Eve the general public was also able to make submissions, and as of Friday 8 February 2019, in excess of 300 submissions had been received by the Commission. Statistics provided by the Commission indicate that from these submissions, approximately 81 per cent are concerned with the provision of care in a residential facility. The most common concerns were about substandard or unsafe care and staffing issues, with in excess of 50% of submissions raising these issues. These areas of care will no doubt be a focus of the Commission going forward.

The Commission is currently hearing evidence from peak advocacy bodies regarding the current state of the aged care system.