Yesterday, the Federal Aged Care Minister Ken Wyatt opened submissions to the Review of National Aged Care Quality Regulatory Processes.

Submissions for the review will help identify any gaps or deficiencies in the aged care regulatory system which may have prevented the early detection and swift action against poor care or mistreatment in the sector.

It is encouraged that everyone from aged care residents to their families, carers and other interested people provide submissions to the review.

At the beginning of May it was announced that there would be a review of the agencies involved in regulating the quality of care in residential aged care.

There will be particular focus on roles of the Australian Aged Care Quality Agency, the Aged Care Complaints Commissioner and the Department of Health.

The review will primarily examine the Commonwealth Government’s accreditation, monitoring, review, investigation, complaints and compliance processes.

This comes after the failures of regulatory bodies to recognise issues that were occurring at South Australia’s Oakden facility, where there were reports of poor care and abuse.

After discovering the mistreatment of their elderly dementia patients, which had been reportedly ongoing for years, the Makk and McLeay wards of Oakden were closed down immediately.

Though that facility has now been closed, questions still remain as to why the Northern Adelaide Local Health Network did not act earlier or even identify the failures in care at the Oakden Older Persons Mental Health Service.

As a part of the enquiry, the Aged Care Minister appointed a two person panel to lead the independent review.

This panel includes Kate Carnell, a veteran public administrator and regulator, and Professor Ron Paterson, who is an international expert on patients’ rights, complaints, health care quality and the regulation of healthcare professions.

“Today we take the next step to make sure Australia’s regulatory system in residential aged care works effectively,” Minister Wyatt said.

“We all need to have confidence that the system we have in place works for the most vulnerable in our community.”

Minister Wyatt said Ms Carnell and Professor Paterson had already begun consulting with key stakeholders, both in aged care and experts in quality assurance, across the broader health and social services system.

“Consultations will also take place with front line workers — responsible for managing the Commonwealth’s regulatory processes — as well as with consumers, industry, and experts across the aged care and broader health system including residential aged care facilities, policy experts and academics.

“We owe it to everyone in residential aged care, their family and loved ones that we have in place an oversight regime that is robust and functions to the highest standard.”

For more information and to make a submission go to the Department of Health’s Aged Care website.

Or, Aged Care Report will also be making a submission to the review on behalf of our community. Please get in touch with Lauren at lauren@agedcarereportcard.com.au if you would like to provide any feedback about your experiences with aged care.

Submissions close on 24 July 2017, with the review panel due to report to Minister Wyatt by 31 August 2017.

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