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Commission announces details for first witness hearing

This month’s public hearing will run over eight days and focus on the current system including clinical issues and the concerns of representative bodies and service recipients, the aged care royal commission has announced.

Today’s announcement follows the royal commission’s first public hearing in Adelaide on 18 January where it outlined the direction and powers of the inquiry (read more here).

The commission will hold a public hearing in Adelaide from Monday 11 February to Wednesday 13 February and from Monday 18 February to Friday 22 February, which as foreshadowed at the initial hearing will provide a broad overview of the current system.

The hearing begins just a few start days after the 8 February deadline the commission gave smaller aged care providers to submit comprehensive reports on all instances of poor care and complaints since 2013 (read more here).

The subject of the first witness hearing includes key issues affecting the functioning of the current system from the perspectives of the range of aged care stakeholder representatives plus consumers with a lived experience of aged care.

It will also look at the operation, monitoring and regulation of aged care quality, safety and complaints prior to 1 January 2019 and expectations under the new Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission.

Also on the agenda is the implications of Australia’s changing demographics on the aged care system plus the nature and meaning of quality and safety in aged care.

The inquiry will hear perspectives and concerns related to the current aged care system from:

  • advocacy bodies
  • medical and nursing professional bodies
  • government and regulators
  • workforce representative bodies
  • people receiving aged care services or their family members.

The hearing will also inquire into the clinical issues affecting elderly people and general challenges in meeting clinical needs and demographic information relating to the provision of aged care services, the commission said.

The Royal Commission said it had already approached all of the representative bodies it was seeking evidence from for this public hearing.

Following January’s preliminary hearing, aged care provider and consumer peak bodies Aged & Community Services Australia and COTA Australia told Australian Ageing Agenda they would be preparing witness statements for the February public hearings (read more here.)

The commission’s interim report is due by 31 October 2019 and the final report by 30 April 2020.

Image credit: AAP

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