What does a royal commission do? How do I prepare for it? What are my legal rights and responsibilities and what happens if I’m asked to give evidence or provide documents?
These and other questions are addressed in a fact sheet prepared by Hynes Legal designed to help aged care providers understand the powers and processes of the royal commission as well as their rights and responsibilities while it is underway. It covers issues including the commission’s likely impact on the aged care sector, where it will leave proposed reforms, its powers and limitations, legal privilege and what happens once the inquiry is over.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced the royal commission into the safety and quality of the nation’s aged care sector on September 16 and 3,000 submissions have so far been received on its terms of reference.
A series of roundtables were also being held in Sydney on Thursday with more than care consumers, family members, the workforce, providers and diversity groups who were expected to make an additional 4,800 submissions.
Hynes says the recent royal commission into the banking industry showed that a royal commission can hone in on very specific complaints and the message for aged care providers is to be prepared.
“As we await the release of the terms of reference for the royal commission, we recommend that providers take heed of some of the challenges experienced by organisations who have operated within the scope of the banking royal commission inquiry and immediately consider your capacity to respond to a request for information that might be provided,” Hynes says in a statement.
How to prepare:
- review all matters that have come before the complaints commissioner
- review all current and historical issues with families
- identify unresolved complaints
- review policies and processes around compliance issues
- have at hand all documents relating to complaints, clinical incidents and assaults, as well as documents that may be subject to professional privilege
Hynes also notes that the royal commission gives providers and the wider aged care industry an opportunity to highlight and promote good work as well as identify areas for improvement.
The fact sheet is available here
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