Senior residents on the Mid North Coast and their families will benefit from significant aged care quality reforms announced by the Coalition Government.
Nationals Member for Cowper, Luke Hartsuyker, said local aged care facilities were doing a tremendous job of caring for our seniors.
“On the Mid North Coast we have wonderful aged care facilities. These are staffed by very dedicated individuals doing a great job to ensure that our older Australians get the best care they can receive, but we want to ensure this standard is upheld which is why we are introducing these reforms,” Mr Hartsuyker said.
At the heart of the reforms are aged care regulation, compliance and complaints handing will be brought together in a new and independent Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission.
Mr Hartsuyker welcomed the reforms and said that they would bring the residents of the Mid North Coast much needed reassurance that everyone receiving aged care is being looked after properly.
A new performance rating system against the quality standards will also be introduced providing locals with access to a comparison tool when selecting aged care providers. Ensuring senior Australians and their families have clear, concise information when choosing aged care options is also critical.
“When I speak to people in the community their desire for reform in the aged care sector has been made very clear, and they have been urging the Government to make the hard decisions” Mr Hartsuyker said.
“This announcement is a significant reform in raising the bar on quality aged care, and sends a strong message to Australians that quality aged care is a top priority for the Coalition Government.”
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 Turnbull 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.