Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety - final report released
March 2021 | News | Sam Burnett and Jon Cheung
The Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety released its Final Report on 1 March 2021. The Final Report was released following an extensive public hearing schedule and research programme.
Commissioners Pagone and Briggs have proposed 148 recommendations for the Government in the Final Report. Whilst there was some divergence in opinion between the Commissioners regarding their recommendations, the Commissioners have expressed agreement on the need for wholesale reform of the Australian aged care sector.
Some of the major recommendations from the Commissioners that are relevant to approved providers include:
- the enactment of a new Aged Care Act to replace the Aged Care Act 1997 (Cth), which should enshrine rights of elderly persons in the new Act (recommendations 1 to 3)
- strengthening the governance of the aged care sector through reforms to government agencies (recommendations 5 to 12)
- regulating the use of restrictive practices in aged care to limit their use to ‘last resort’ situations (recommendation 17)
- recommending that approved providers of residential aged care facilities must meet a minimum staff time quality and safety standard (recommendation 86)
- legislative reforms to improve provider governance and quality of executive management of aged care providers (recommendations 88, 90)
- strengthening reporting of complaints, serious incident reporting and accreditation and assessment (recommendations 92 to 105)
Implications and potential regulatory reform
It remains unclear whether the Commonwealth Government will choose to implement the recommendations of the Final Report (and to what extent the recommendations are implemented). Accordingly, approved providers should carefully study the Commonwealth Government response to the Final Report when it is published in the coming months.
Prolegis Lawyers acted for multiple approved providers before public hearings of the Aged Care Royal Commission. We are continuing to consider the implications of the Final Report on approved providers, particularly in respect of governance issues. Please contact Jon Cheung or Sam Burnett if you have any queries in relation to the Final Report.
Anne Robinson, Consultant, is speaking about the implications of recommendations for governance from the Commission at an AICD webinar on 9 March.