The aged care royal commission has announced that hearings will recommence in three weeks’ time.

The Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety suspended hearings in March to protect hearing participants and staff during the initial stages of the COVID-19 pandemic.

It said the suspension also allowed the aged care sector to focus on managing the impact of the pandemic on their delivery of aged care services.

The hearing on mental health, oral health and allied health care in aged care provision, which was originally scheduled for 30-31, will now take place in 15 to 17 July 2020.

The Melbourne hearing will be closed to the public due to COVID-19 restrictions.

The hearing will inquire into how mental health, oral health and allied health care can be improved for people accessing aged care services, including through:

  • increased funding or alternative funding models
  • incentives for health care professionals to provide services at an individual’s place of residence
  • increased training for aged care workers
  • clarifying responsibilities of approved providers and implementing performance measures or performance indicators.

Earlier this week the royal commisisoner called for submissions from individuals and organisations on system governance, market management and the allocation and clarification of roles and responsibilities for these functions.

Further information including several questions for consideration is available here.

Submissions on this topic should be emailed to ACRCSystemGovernance@royalcommission.gov.au by Monday, 13 July 2020.

In the coming weeks, the royal commission will release some research it has undertaken as part of research and policy development work completed during the suspension period.

The work is part of preparation for the final report, which is due to be finalised in November 2020.

To date, the royal commission has received 8,626 submissions and the 6,018 telephone calls to the information line.

The most common concerns raised in June are staffing issues including ratios, according to the commission’s website.

The deadline for public submissions is 31 July 2020.

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