New reforms to ensure safe, quality aged care for Hinkler residents

Tuesday, 17 April 2018

Senior residents in Hinkler and their families will benefit from significant aged care quality reforms announced today by the Coalition Government.   

At the heart of these reforms, aged care regulation, compliance and complaints handing will be brought together in a new and independent Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission. 

Federal Member for Hinkler Keith Pitt has welcomed the reforms and said that they would bring the residents of Hinkler much needed reassurance that everyone receiving aged care is being looked after properly.

“I’ve been advocating for change for the past year; I’ve met with constituents and met with Minister for Aged Care Ken Wyatt multiple times.

“One such meeting with constituents was taken to the Minister and resulted in the Aged Care Quality Agency undertaking unannounced inspections of local aged care facilities within a matter of days,” Mr Pitt said.

The Coalition Government recently introduced unannounced re-accreditation audits across every residential aged care facility in Australia.

Mr Pitt said today’s announcement takes a significant step towards raising the bar on quality aged care.

“However, I will continue to advocate on behalf of constituents that bring their concerns to my office. These reforms will deliver the care grounded in the principles of dignity and respect that our senior Australians deserve.”

A new performance rating system against the quality standards will also be introduced providing residents of Hinkler with access to a comparison tool when selecting aged care providers. This will ensure senior Australians and their families have clear, concise information when choosing aged care options is also critical.

Minister for Aged Care Ken Wyatt said the reforms would bring confidence to older Australians and their families in deciding on aged care options.

“The new independent Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission will give the more than 1.3 million Australians in Commonwealth aged care support and their families, peace of mind that they will receive safe, quality care,” Minister Wyatt said. 

The establishment of the Commission is in response to the Carnell-Paterson review into failures at South Australia’s Oakden Older Persons Mental Health Service. The Review, commissioned by the Coalition Government, found the current aged care regulatory framework does not adequately provide the assurance the community expects. 

The new Commission will start from 1 January 2019 and will bring together the functions of the Australian Aged Care Quality Agency, the Aged Care Complaints Commissioner and the aged care regulatory functions of the Department of Health.

The reforms will include development options, in consultation with the aged care sector, for a Serious Incident Response Scheme to ensure the right systems are in place to identify an incident and prevent it from occurring again.

“We recognise that the vast majority of providers give consistent, quality care to their residents.  But, as we have seen, there can be failures. We must ensure that disasters like Oakden are never repeated,” Minister Wyatt said.

“Our senior Australians built the nation that we enjoy today. They have rightly earned the respect of the community and must be cared for with the dignity they deserve.”

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