The government has launched the new single charter of rights, which providers will need to sign and give to every aged care recipient in their service.
The Charter of Aged Care Rights, which is part of the Single Aged Care Quality Framework, replaces the four current charters relating to care recipients’ rights and responsibilities and applies to all recipients of government-subsidised aged care services.
The single charter of rights takes affect from 1 July, however residential aged care services and home care providers have three and six months respectively after that date to provide the signed charter to care recipients.
Consumer peak COTA Australia has raised concerns about this implementation timeline (read that story here).
Minister for Senior Australians and Aged Care Ken Wyatt said providers will for the first time have to provide a personally signed copy of the charter to every care recipient and give them or their authorised representative the opportunity to co-sign the document.
“The co-signing makes providers’ commitments and obligations under the charter clear to clients, and ensures that clients are aware of their rights,” said Mr Wyatt who announced the new charter on Saturday.
The review of aged care regulation led by Kate Carnell and Professor Ron Paterson found awareness of the existing charters of consumers’ rights were low and recommended the rights of consumers and their representatives be given more prominence (read more here).
The new charter was developed following consultation in 2018 that received more than 550 public submissions including from aged care providers, staff and peak organisations (48 per cent) and aged care recipients, their families and carers (40 per cent).
It is written in plain English and focuses on high-level consumer rights, covering 14 fundamental protections including safe and quality care, independence, information, personal privacy, control, fairness and choice.
The charter underpins the new aged care quality standards, which are also coming into force on 1 July.
“Being treated with dignity and living without abuse and neglect are among the top tiers of the new charter,” Mr Wyatt said.
Residential aged care services have until 30 September 2019 to provide the signed charter to their residents while home care providers have until 31 December 2019.
The charter includes the right to:
- safe and high quality care and services
- be treated with dignity and respect
- have my identity, culture and diversity valued and supported
- live without abuse and neglect
- be informed about my care and services in a way I understand
- access all information about myself, including information about my rights, care and services
- have control over, and make choices about, my care, personal and social life, including where choices involve personal risk
- have control over, and to make decisions about, the personal aspects of my daily life, financial affairs and possessions
- my independence
- be listened to and understood
- have a person of my choice, including an aged care advocate, support me or speak on my behalf
- complain free from reprisal, and to have my complaints dealt with fairly and promptly
- personal privacy and to have my personal information protected
- exercise my rights without it adversely affecting the way I am treated.
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