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Providers asked to give a five-year history of cases of poor care


The aged care royal commission is seeking a report from every aged care outlet detailing every instance of sub-standard care in the last five years and action taken to improve services.  

The largest 100 providers have been asked to respond by 7 January while the remaining providers will be approached at a later date and have until a yet-to-be-determined day in February to respond.

The Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety was established on 8 October with Justice Joseph McGrath and Lynelle Briggs announced as joint commissioners the following day.

In a letter seen by Australian Ageing Agenda, the commissioners have written to approved aged care providers “inviting” them to make an early submission to the commission about “each service or outlet”.

The commission is seeking provider views on focus areas for the commission in addition to answers to specific questions in a “comprehensive” emailed response that “should not exceed 50 pages for each service or outlet”.

The multi-part questions ask providers to detail every instance of sub-standard care or complaint since July 2013, the action taken in response and whether it was in response to systemic failure.

It also asks providers to complete a summary table that shows how many cases of substandard care or complaints occurred by area, such as dignity, choice, medications, loneliness, restrictive practices and governance.

Pat Sparrow

Other questions relate to aged care services provided to young people, difficulties accessing health care for clients and how the interface between the aged care, primary health, acute care and disability systems could be improved.

Aged & Community Services Australia CEO Pat Sparrow said ACSA was seeking further information about the commission’s request for its members, all of whom want to engage productively with the commission to ensure quality and sustainable future aged care services.

“ACSA is currently seeking clarification on definitions for the information the commission has recently requested from providers, such as substandard care, and the measurement for loneliness,” Ms Sparrow told AAA.

Sean Rooney

Leading Age Services Australia CEO Sean Rooney said LASA’s members were also keen to participate fully in the commission’s work in order to make the aged care system better.

“Members note that the timeline will be challenging for some providers, however the industry is committed to responding as comprehensively as possible to ensure the best outcomes from this process,” Mr Rooney told AAA.

Further details and clarifications about provider requirements for this request will be added to the aged care royal commission website soon, a spokesman for the aged care royal commission told AAA on Tuesday.

He said the date of the preliminary directions hearing to be held Adelaide was still being worked out but he confirmed it would be in early December.

Public hearing will commence in February, also in Adelaide, he said.

Details about these hearings and the open submission process will be published on the website, he said.

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