Above: Dr Andrew Refshauge
Former NSW Deputy Premier, Dr Andrew Refshauge, has been appointed as the new chair of the Aged Care Standards and Accreditation Agency Board by the Minister for Mental Health and Ageing, Mark Butler.
The new position, due to commence on 1 July 2012, will include such duties as introducing greater transparency into the system as part of aged care reform and ensuring a smooth transition from the agency as it is now known to the future ‘Australian Aged Care Quality Agency’.
Announcing the appointment today, Mr Butler said Dr Refshauge, who has been a member of the board of the Accreditation Agency since 2008, would bring extensive experience in government, health care and medicine to his new role.
Dr Refshauge has served in a variety of senior leadership roles in the NSW Government, including as Deputy Premier, Treasurer and Minister for Health.
He is currently Chair of the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare and Careflight, is a medical practitioner by training, holds positions in a number of other medical and research bodies, and is Chair of the Investment Committee of the NSW Aboriginal Lands Council.
“This experience, and his broad experience and familiarity with the aged care sector and the workings of the Accreditation Agency will ensure the agency’s smooth transition from its current role to the expanded The Australian Aged Care Quality Agency,” Mr Butler said.
“As part of the government’s Living Longer Living Better reform package, this transformed body will be the sole agency with which providers will deal in relation to quality assurance of the services they deliver, as it assumes responsibility for not just accreditation, but quality.
“The new body will be backed up by a new My Aged Care website which will provide older Australian and their families with better, more transparent information about aged care services in their area.”
Dr Refshauge will replace Mr James (Jim) Harrowell AM who has been Chair of the Accreditation Agency since 2000 and a member of the board since 1999.
Mr Butler thanked Mr Harrowell for his significant contribution to the aged care sector during his chairmanship.
“I don’t think it an exaggeration to say that Jim Harrowell is the founding father of accreditation in residential aged care in Australia,” Mr Butler said.
“His tenure at the Accreditation Agency has seen better practice and continual improvement throughout the sector, and brought national and international recognition for the work of the agency.
“Jim has worked closely and collaboratively with the aged care industry, and his strong personal involvement in quality assurance has added value to the sector.”