Reform insights wanted by aged care watchdog

The focus is on access and navigability of the system.

How well is the government progressing in implementing the royal commission’s recommendations?

That’s the question being asked by the Office of the Inspector-General of Aged Care. Answers received will help inform the 2024 progress report.

The focus of the report – which must be delivered to the Minister for Aged Care by 1 June – is accessibility and navigability of the system.

Ian Yates

“We’re particularly wanting to know how successfully people access and navigate the aged care system,” interim inspector-general Ian Yates told Australian Ageing Agenda. “Are they able to easily identify and access the kind of care and support they need, both when they enter aged care the first time and later as they need other care and support?”

In its final report – released in 2021 – the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety made 148 recommendations for reform across the aged care sector.

Among them, the establishment of the Office of the Inspector-General of Aged Care. The office – which commenced in October 2023 – is an independent watchdog responsible for oversight and accountability of the system.  

Legislation requires the inspector-general to report on the federal government’s progress towards implementing the royal commission’s recommendations.

For the 2024 progress report, which will build on the initial progress report released in 2023, stakeholders – including providers, peaks, advocates, academics, unions, consumers, their families, and carers – are being invited to answer 22 questions in all. They include:

  • what are your impressions of overall progress with the implementation of the royal commission’s recommendations?
  • what do you think of the new dementia support pathways?
  • how useful have you found the star ratings?
  • how has the introduction of care finders impacted on peoples’ access to care?
  • how has the aged care system improved how the needs of people from diverse backgrounds are being met?

“Feedback is particularly sought from First Nations people, people with disabilities, people from the LGBTQ+ community, and people from culturally diverse backgrounds, and those living in rural and remote areas of the country – and of course their families and support people,” Mr Yates told AAA. “Their insights will give us an understanding as to how effective the aged care system caters for people from diverse backgrounds.”

The Office of the Inspector-General encourages participants to provide examples, data, references, or other additional information that will support their submission.

Participants have the option to keep identities confidential by using a pseudonym. Submissions are not intended for publication.

Participants should send their submissions either by email – to royalcommission@igac.gov.au – or by post to the Office of the Inspector-General of Aged Care, PO Box 350, Woden ACT 2606 by 28 March.  

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