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Back to "Community & Associations Newsletter - December 2018"

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Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety

The Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety was announced on 9 October 2018, by the Commonwealth government.

The terms of reference for the Commission open with an emphasis on the quality of aged care services provided to Australians, the extent to which those services meet the needs of the people accessing them, the extent of substandard care being provided, including mistreatment and all forms of abuse, the causes of any systemic failures, and any actions that should be taken in response.

Operator submissions

The approved providers under the Aged Care Act 1997 (Cth) have been invited by the Commissioners to make an early written submission to the Commission in relation to each aged care service or outlet they operate. As part of this submission, the Commissioners have requested that the providers complete a detailed survey. Many large aged care operators have already responded to the survey, which is aimed at facilitating voluntary disclosure of matters in the preceding 5 year period.  Smaller operators have been requested to submit similar responses before 8 February 2019.

The survey form can be viewed online

We will assist any operator who is approached to provide further information and note that the emphasis of the questions is on care, quality, dignity, governance and access.

Hearings

The preliminary public hearing of the Royal Commission will at 10am on Friday, 18 January 2019 at the Roma Mitchell Commonwealth Law Court Building in Courtroom 11, on Level 3, at 3 Angas St, Adelaide. The Commissioners will set out their vision for the operation of the Royal Commission, including the conduct of the hearings to follow. Senior Counsel Assisting the Royal Commission will make a brief opening statement..

The hearing will be open to the public, although seating will be limited. The hearing will be streamed live through the Royal Commission’s website and a transcript will be available on this site after the hearing.

The Commission will be hearing evidence from witnesses from February. Details about those hearings will be announced in early 2019. Applications for leave to appear at those hearings can be made in accordance with practice guidelines, which will be published on the Commission’s website.

The Royal Commission expects to conduct hearings and/or round table discussions in the capital city of each State and Territory, and in some regional centres.

An online form allows interested persons to register for regular updates from the Royal Commission:

The Royal Commission’s interim report is to be provided by 31 October 2019, and its final report no later than 30 April 2020.

Bill Madden, Special Counsel

Josephine Heesh, Partner

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