An Open Letter to the Aged Care Workforce

I am writing this letter today to connect with each and every aged care worker and assure you all that the Government values the work you do to provide quality care for senior Australians in residential care and in homes all across Australia.

We know that there are instances of sub-standard care that need a fair, independent and thorough assessment – to honour and support every family that has engaged and trusted aged care services across our nation.

As a result, on 16 September, the Prime Minister, the Hon Scott Morrison MP, announced the Australian Government’s decision to ask the Governor General to establish a Royal Commission into the Aged Care Quality and Safety.

The broad focus of the Royal Commission will be to look at the quality of care provided in residential and in-home care services to senior Australians. It will also include young Australians with disabilities living in residential aged care settings.

We expect that it will cover:

  • The quality of care provided to older Australians, and the extent of substandard care;
  • The challenge of providing care to Australians with disabilities living in residential aged care, particularly younger people with disabilities;
  • The challenge of supporting the increasing number of Australians suffering dementia and addressing their care needs as they age;
  • The future challenges and opportunities for delivering aged care services in the context of changing demographics, including in remote, rural and regional Australia;
  • And other matters that the Royal Commission considers necessary.

I am confident that the aged care sector as a whole is committed to providing senior Australians with high quality care and services.

Parliament House Canberra ACT 2600 Telephone: (02) 6277 7720

As the Prime Minister has acknowledged, ‘There are thousands of extraordinary operators, facilities, care providers, nursing and other clinical staff, volunteers, cleaners, cooks, therapists out there improving the lives of senior Australians every day’. I have visited in excess of 100 aged care services and what I have seen in almost all cases is staff that are dedicated and committed to senior Australians.

You have much to be proud of in the support you provide senior Australians day in and day out. We all want aged care to be at its very best.

The Government is committed to implementing the reforms already announced and the Royal Commission will help us to determine what more may need to be done to prepare the aged care system for the increase in demand over the next decade.

The aged care workforce will play an important role throughout this process.

Further information about the Royal Commission is available on the Department of Heath website, where you can also subscribe for updates and provide input to the terms of reference, at https://agedcare.govcms.gov.au/announcement-of- royal-commission-into-aged-care-quality-and-safety

Yours sincerely

The Hon KEN WYATT AM, MP
Minister for Senior Australians and Aged Care Minister for Indigenous Health

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