The Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety kicks off tomorrow in Adelaide with its first public hearing (Watch it here LINK: http://webstreaming.lawinorder.com.au/acrc ).
At the hearing the Commissioners will set out their vision for the operation of the Royal Commission and explain how the hearings will be conducted. Evidence from witnesses will be heard from February, with details about those hearings to be announced later this month.
It will be interesting to hear tomorrow how the Commission intends to accomplish the goals set out in the ‘terms of reference’.
The ‘terms of reference’, released in October last year, tell us about the focus of the Commission and reflect the major concerns that Australians hold in relation to aged care in this country.
They indicate that the Commission acknowledges that the standard aged care, including residential and home care, is currently not good enough, with a major area of concern being the level of mistreatment and abuse.
The terms also acknowledge that there are specific challenges associated with delivering aged care services in rural, regional and remote Australia, and with delivering care to people with dementia and people with disabilities, including younger people, who live in residential aged care.
The terms acknowledge that in order to deliver safe high quality aged care services into the future, there needs to be a collaborative approach from the Government, the aged care sector, Australian families and the wider community. This includes enquiring into how to deliver aged care in a sustainable way, examining innovative models of care, increased use of technology, and how best to invest in the aged care workforce and capital infrastructure.
Importantly the terms of reference ask how best to ensure that aged care services are person-centred, that they focus on choice, control and independence, and focus on engaging with families and carers.
Our lawyer Kate Simpson will be keeping a keen eye on the Royal Commission - watch this space for regular updates.
If we can assist you or your organisation with any matter relating to the Royal Commission, please contact Kate Simpson at our Armidale office.