LASA has acknowledged the start of an inquiry into the quality of care provided in residential aged care facilities, but is concerned the process may duplicate past results.
Chief executive Sean Rooney said safety and quality in aged care was not negotiable, and hoped the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Health, Aged Care and Sport Inquiry would ensure high standards were upheld in the industry.
“Age services providers, government and the community all share a desire for a high performing aged care sector, supported by a quality assurance and accreditation system that meets the needs of older Australians and upholds the standards the community rightfully expects when it comes to quality of care,” Rooney said.
“We support this inquiry but are concerned that with the Federal Government already considering a number of significant inputs that will further drive aged care quality and reform, the work of the Inquiry may duplicate research and findings already undertaken and slow down the process of reform at a critical time.”
Rooney said these inputs included the Tune Report on the Aged Care Legislated Review, the Carnell Paterson Report into the government’s quality accreditation systems and processes, a senate inquiry into aged care quality assessment and accreditation, an Aged Care Single Quality Framework, a Resource Utilisation and Classification Study, Increasing Choice in Home Care changes, and the new Aged Care Workforce Strategy Taskforce.
“Overwhelmingly, the majority of facilities provide excellent care and are working continually to improve services,” he said.
“However, our commitment to ensuring quality and safety is emphatic and we will work with the government to support initiatives that are effective in reaching this end.”
ACSA issued a similar response to news of the inquiry.
Chief executive Pat Sparrow said the organisation would cooperate with the initiative, but urged the government to focus its efforts on policy development and avoiding duplicated results.
“With numerous lines of inquiry currently open and under consideration by the government, there is a need to focus on those areas where reform efforts will have the most impact on quality and safety,” he said.
“The sector is in favour of a firm but fair regulatory system that supports consumers’ safety and upholds the standards the community rightfully expects when it comes to quality of care; with the announcement of yet another inquiry, we urge government to take a considered approach to all current review findings to ensure quality of care for older Australians.
“As an industry, breaches of consumer trust and care warrant our close attention but we also know that these instances are mercifully rare.”
The Inquiry, to be Chaired by Mr Trent Zimmerman MP, will examine Australia’s residential aged care system and the quality of care and service provided to residents.
The Committee will also consider the consumer protections available for aged care residents.Do you have an idea for a story?
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