New Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission on the way – but more funding needs to be priority

New Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission on the way – but more funding needs to be priority  

The independent Commission, announced by Minister for Aged Care Ken Wyatt this week, will start from 1 January 2019 and see all of our aged care agencies including the Australian Aged Care Quality Agency and the Aged Care Complaints Commissioner under the one organisation. 

The changes, recommended by the Federal Government’s review commissioned after last year’s Oakden scandal in South Australia, will also see a new performance rating against the Government’s quality standards for aged care homes and a provider comparison tool added to the My Aged Care website. 

There will also be a new Serious Incident Response Scheme which will investigate major complaints and illness outbreaks in aged care homes. 

All welcome initiatives designed to prevent more of the failures that we have seen highlighted in the media recently. 

But while we agree having a single point of contact will make it easier for residents and their families to raise any issues, we question this focus on one agency to ‘fix’ everything. 

Show me the money 

Good quality care is of course central to supporting our older Australians, but there is little point in having high standards if the sector is not funded properly. 

I was reading data this week that our personal carer and assistant workforce will need to increase by 33 per cent in the next five years – that’s over 90,000 extra workers. 

But it’s also the job predicted to have the most vacancies – and we can see why. Pay is low and as we covered here, most aged care services are struggling to stay viable and cannot afford to pay more to staff. 

The home care packages program is also in trouble with over 100,000 people currently on the waiting list, half receiving care at levels below what they need. 

The Government is promising an aged care package in the Federal Budget. We hope it delivers – otherwise who will care for us and our loved ones? 

https://www.agedcare101.com.au/contributors/annie-donaldson

https://www.agedcare101.com.au/contributors/jill-donaldson-care

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A special thanks to our contributors

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Antonia Norris

Researcher and Contributor

Antonia has led the operations and growth of the agedcare101.com.au and villages.com.au within the DCM Group in Australia and New Zealand for several years. This has included the research and creation agedcare101 in 2016, the creation of the DCM Institute and Te Ara Institute, the joint contribution of Care & Living with Mercer (CaLM) and the TV series, The Best 30 Years, screened on NINE nationally.

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Journalist

Journalist

Caroline has a wealth of experience writing within the retirement and aged care sector and is a contributing journalist for the Villages.com.au and agedcare101 blog and accompanying newsletters.

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Ian Horswill

Journalist

Ian is a journalist, writer and sub-editor for the aged care sector, working at The DCM Group. He writes for The Weekly Source, agedcare101, villages.com.au and the DCM Institute fortnightly newsletter Friday. Ian is in daily contact with CEOs of retirement living, land lease and the aged care operations and makes a new contact every week. He investigates media releases, LinkedIn and Facebook for a good source for ideas for stories.

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Lauren Broomham

Retirement and Aged Care Journalist

Lauren is a journalist for villages.com.au, agedcare101 and The Donaldson Sisters. Growing up in a big family in small town communities, she has always had a love for the written word, joining her local library at the age of six months. With over eight years' experience in writing and editing, she is a keen follower of news and current affairs with a nose for a good story.

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Jill Donaldson

Physiotherapist

Jill has been practicing as a clinical physiotherapist for 30 years. For the last 13 years she has worked solely in the Aged Care sector in more than 50 metropolitan and regional facilities. Jill has also toured care facilities in the US and Africa and is a passionate advocate for both the residents in aged care and the staff who care for them. She researches and writes for DCM Media.

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Chris Baynes

DCM Media, agedcare101

Chris has been a journalist and publisher in the retirement village and aged care sectors for 11 years. He has visited over 250 retirement villages and 50 aged care facilities both within Australia and internationally. Chris is a regular speaker at industry conferences plus is a frequent radio commentator.

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Annie Donaldson

Nurse and Carer

Annie has a long career in both nursing and the media. She has planned and co-ordinated the medical support from both international TV productions and major stadium events. In recent years she has been a primary family carer plus involved in structured carer support.