| April 19, 2018

Powerful New Reforms to Ensure Safe, Quality Aged Care for Older Residents of Murray

Senior residents in Murray and their families will benefit from significant aged care quality reforms announced by the Turnbull-McCormack Government.  

At the heart of these reforms, aged care regulation, compliance and complaints handing will be brought together in a new and independent Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission. 

Federal Member for Murray, the Hon Damian Drum MP has welcomed the reforms and said that they would bring much needed reassurance for locals knowing 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’m travelling around the electorate speaking to families with loved ones in aged care from Echuca, Euroa, Yarrawonga and Shepparton, the vast majority are concerned that their local aged care facility is delivering the best possible care to their loved ones,” Mr Drum 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.”

“At some stage in our lives we will all have a loved one in aged care. Every Australian has the right to have quality care provided to them when it is needed. It is important that each family can have peace of mind when they have a loved one in aged care,” Mr Drum said.

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.

“Our senior Australians built the nation that we enjoy today.  They have rightly earned the respect of the community and must be cared for with the dignity they deserve.”

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