When the Aged Care Royal Commission was announced in September by Prime Minister Scott Morrison, the overwhelming reaction by our audience was that it was about time.
Judging by the amount of correspondence that we receive on these issues, it was expected that when The Royal Commission into Aged Care asked the public to share their stories, that they would struggle to deal with the number of submissions that they would receive.
Strangely though, this was far from the case.
The Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety kicked off at 10.00am last Friday morning, and one of the most shocking things to come out of the fairly underwhelming proceedings was the fact that only 300 members of the public had made a submission.
Yes, you heard that correctly. Only 300 people.
While the public has only had the ability to make submissions since Christmas Eve, and even though they still have until at least to June to do so, that doesn’t change the fact that 300 submissions in close to a month, for a subject that people are so passionate about, definitely seems low.
And judging by the comments on a number of our previous Royal Commission themed articles, one reason for this low number may simply be fear.
Why The Silence?
The aged care sector is in desperate need of qualified staff who have an eye for detail and the type of character qualities that see them put their residents/clients welfare before anything else.
But sadly, for some aged care workers they feel that they can’t speak up. By speaking up about malpractice within aged care may mean they lose their jobs or potentially their colleagues if they say something.
Take Your Opportunity
The Aged Care Royal Commission gives members of the public who wish to make a submission, the opportunity to do so anonymously, without the need for any personal details.
Commissioner Mr. Richard Tracey AM RFD QC, also addressed the issue of facilities/services punishing staff by sending a clear warning.
“It would be unlawful for an employer to take punitive action against an employee or former employee who has assisted us,” he said.
While Commissioner Ms. Lynelle Briggs AO, claimed that aged care providers who failed to engage with the commission’s process would “draw attention to themselves and their practices.”
The general public has been given their chance to speak, and the powers-that-be are giving you every opportunity to be able to tell your story.
Working with the elderly is a privilege, but this privilege comes with great responsibility.
Take your chance and stand up, for those who can’t stand up for themselves.