Standards, new regulatory model start with new Act

The strengthened quality standards will come into effect with the new Act, not on 1 July this year.

The delayed commencement of the new Aged Care Act also pushes back the start date of reforms that go with it, the department has confirmed.

Those complementary reform measures include the strengthened quality standards and the sector’s new regulatory model.

Minister for Aged Care Anika Wells announced on 3 April the government would be updating the 1 July commencement date of the new Act after it had considered feedback and refined the legislation.

While not explicitly mentioned at the time, the Department of Health and Aged Care has since confirmed the introduction of strengthened Aged Care Quality Standards – also due to commence on 1 July – is subsequently delayed.

“The strengthened standards have been finalised and will come into effect in line with the commencement of the new Aged Care Act,” a spokesperson for the Department of Health and Aged Care told Australian Ageing Agenda.

“The strengthened standards were developed as part of broader regulatory reforms. They have been designed to work together with other reforms under the new Aged Care Act including the proposed new model for regulating aged care, which will set out provider obligations and a registration system.”

The department reiterated previous comments that the introduction and commencement timeframes relating to the Bill for the new Aged Care Act are decisions for Government.

AAA has sought an update on the timeline for the new Act.

Meanwhile, a panel of aged care stakeholders have this week discussed and largely welcomed the delay at Aged & Community Care Providers Association state conference in Queensland.

Athena Ermides – chief executive officer of independent living, residential care, and community care provider Good Shepherd Lodge – called the delay good news for providers.

It ensures that “every single layer within our organisation has a really clear idea of what the legislation is, what the Act is about and what that means for us as providers and our residents,” she said.

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Tags: Aged Care Quality Standards, anika wells, Athena Ermides, Department of Health and Aged Care, new aged care act, strengthened aged care quality standards,

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