The government intends to respond as quickly as possible to the aged care royal commission’s recommendations when it is handed down in February next year, the aged care minister has told an industry conference.

Minister for Aged Care Richard Colbeck highlighted the government’s response to COVID-19 to date, reiterating it $1.6 million contribution for residential aged care to manage the pandemic in an address to the LASA Ten Days of Congress yesterday.

Mr Colbeck said he recognised the importance of the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety and its forthcoming recommendations, including a likely preview in a submission from counsel assisting at the final hearing later this week.

“My objective, the objective of government is to be able to respond as quickly as possible to those recommendations, particularly the resourcing of those recommendations through the budget in May next year. There’s a significant amount of work for us all to do,” Mr Colbeck told the conference on Monday.

“What we want to see for senior Australians around this country is the highest possible quality of aged care and that is what I’m expecting the form of the recommendations to take,” Mr Colbeck said.

Minister for Aged Care Richard Colbeck speaking at the LASA Ten Days of Congress virtual event

Mr Colbeck said the royal commission was set up to form a “forensic review of the sector.”

“[It was set up] to provide the recommendations to us as to how it might be best resourced [and] what the regulatory framework might look like,” he said.

It may involve rewriting the Aged Care Act, he said.

“We’re quite comfortable to contemplate a rewrite of the Aged Care Act as a part of our reform process,” Mr Colbeck said.

Mr Colbeck also acknowledged the hard work and dedication of the aged care sector and recognised it has been a challenging year for all.

“It’s been a pretty tough year. We need to maintain our vigilance,” Mr Colbeck said.

“But a lot of the hard work is still to be done as we come towards the royal commission’s report in February. There’ll be a lot to be done off the back of that,” he said.

The LASA Ten Days of Congress is taking place 12 – 23 October as a virtual event.

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3 Comments

  1. Having worked in Senior Aged Care Management for many years, I can say unequivocally that there definitely needs to be a mandated ratio of RNs and ENs to residents to ensure adequate care. As these nurses are supposed to supervise Carers there must be adequate nurses on each shift to ensure they have time to do this. Most Carers want to provide appropriate care but they are not always well trained and definitely need to be supervised. The supervision is woefully inadequate due to time constraints on nurses’ duties. I believe there must be appropriate budgeting for adequate numbers of care staff across all levels and this should be scrutinised by external agencies. From my own experience I know how much pressure is exerted by governing boards on senior staff to ensure profit margins approved by boards without due regard to the increasing acuity levels of residents with appropriate staffing levels to meet the needs.

  2. Again, this Minister does not understand his job. There needs to be a time appropriate and, more to the point, a meaningful response that brings about the changes required. I hope this Minister loses his portfolio during Morrison’s purported reshuffle at the end of the year and that seniors get a Minister who is intellectually capable of handling the portfolio.

  3. I agree with both conversations /feedback given above. In another link to the news letter the Federal Member Ms Sharkie is to introduce a Private Members Bill to parliament to ensure funding to providers is being scrutinised. In respect with the Financial Act. The article indicate that the aged care minister wishes to wait until the Royal Commission findings have been released in February 2021.
    Perhaps he needs to read the recommendations made by Consul (now) to the Royal Commission and not wait until next year. Stop throwing money at the sector with out accountably

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