​​The aged care royal commission’s investigation into the impact of coronavirus on aged care services will focus on the lessons to be learned rather than on finding fault.

It will look at how the Anglicare Sydney, Baptistcare and Opal Aged Care facilities with outbreaks responded to the crisis and what more could have been done to support them.

But it will not investigate who was to blame.  

Read our backgrounders here:

The royal commission announced the focus on 14 May about two weeks after saying it would inquire into certain issues arising from the responses to COVID-19 as part of its ongoing inquiry into the quality and safety of aged care services in Australia (read more here).

Royal Commissioners Tony Pagone and Lynelle Briggs thanked aged care providers, aged care recipients and families who provided feedback on the impact of coronavirus on the aged care sector during the recent call for submissions.

“The focus of the inquiry will be upon the lessons that can be learnt for responding to future pandemics or infectious disease outbreaks.

“The purpose of the inquiry is not to find fault or apportion blame,” the commission said in a statement.

The inquiry aims to understand:

  • the impact of the pandemic on residential and home aged care recipients and their families and their carers
  • the measures put in place to protect aged care staff, aged care recipients and their families
  • how best to react to such events in the future while balancing the need for safety and wellbeing for all
  • how most home care providers and other facilities avoided an outbreak.

“The commissioners will learn from how residential aged care facilities such as Newmarch House, Dorothy Henderson Lodge and Opal Care Bankstown responded to the crisis and what more could have been done to support them,” the commission said.

The inquiry will seek responses from the Australian Department of Health and the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission.

The commissioners encouraged more people to make submissions.

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