Home | News | Aged care quality and safety commissioner named
Janet Anderson. Photo: Michael Franci. Source: News Corp Australia

Aged care quality and safety commissioner named

Minister for Aged Care and Senior Australians Ken Wyatt has announced a Department of Health higher up will head the new Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission.

Janet Anderson will lead its establishment as it prepares to begin operations from 1 January 2019.

Anderson will also oversee the approval, accreditation, assessment, complaints resolution, monitoring and compliance of Commonwealth-funded aged care providers.

She will report directly to Wyatt.

COTA Australia chief executive Ian Yates said Anderson’s appointment is another step toward a new era for aged care in Australia.

“Janet Anderson has an impressive resume and is well equipped to lead the Commission in tackling the complexities and specific challenges riddling our aged care system and its effective regulation,” Yates said.

For the past two years, Anderson worked as deputy chief executive and acting chief executive of the Northern Territory Department of Health.

Prior to that, she was first assistant secretary, health services, in the Department of Health from 2012 to 2015, and director of inter-government and funding strategies in the New South Wales Department of Health from 2006 to 2011.

She also briefly acted as chief executive of ACT Health but stepped down due to personal circumstances after it was publicly announced.

The government also appointed Associate Professor Michael Murray to assist Anderson as interim chief clinical advisor.

Murray is president of the Board of Directors at the National Ageing Research Institute, an Associate Professor at Melbourne University and Adjunct Associate Professor with the Australian Centre for Evidence Based Aged Care at La Trobe University.

He will assist Anderson with key establishment activities until she appoints a permanent clinical advisor.

Pegged by Wyatt as a one-stop shop, the new Commission will have a budget of almost $300 million over four years.

“Senior Australians and their families will know who to contact when they need help with a complaint, a concern or when something goes wrong,” he said. “Providers will also benefit from being able to deal with one regulatory agency, and know who to contact in relation to their accreditation, quality monitoring and compliance requirements.”

Pat Sparrow, chief executive of Aged and Community Services Australia, said all parties with an interest in aged care need the system to function with firm but fair regulation that protects the principles of safety and quality of life.

“We absolutely need regulation that holds to account those who abuse or neglect and identifies those instances of sub-standard care in a timely and effective way,” Sparrow said.

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6 comments

  1. Commissioner,
    I believe that all accreditation should be carried out like spot visits. The team arrives unannounced and say they are there for one or two weeks to carry out accreditation process.
    This then does not give organisations time to bring in the heavies of the Organisation to make sure every thing is done, extra staff, extra cleaning and everything up to date. I have seen it all.
    My husband is in a Nursing Home in the latest Newsletter it states that they will be going through accreditation in March.
    The current system does not reflect the true care of the facilities.
    There Needs To Be Big Changes To The Way Accreditation Is Carried Out, or thing Won’t Change.

  2. Spot on Pamela, accreditation is a complete farse

  3. I really hope Janet can make the desperate changes that are required to take older Australians to the end of their lives with dignity and respect. The residents are always spoken about in these conversations , but we also need to speak about what is happening to good staff in this industry. The lack of ratio staff is a major problem. When I did night shift, there was 4 carers, 1 RN and 1 EN to look after nearly 140 residents. That was with 2 locked dementia wings. We were told we were infact OVERSTAFFED! Where they would have had this idea from I have no idea as there is ZERO staffing ratio guidelines like there is in hospitals, schools and day care centres. To say it is acceptable to put night staff at risk of dealing with a potential catastrophic situation, let alone residents is unacceptable. The industry find it quite acceptable to burn good staff out. They leave the industry and then the facilities are left with slim pickings when going to replace the good staff. Then we see less than adequate skill sets from carers that are doing 6 week courses to gain employment quickly. Some that came through where I worked could not even hoist, use other vital machinery, feed, speak english, read a care plan. When this occurs, this not only places the obvious residents at risk, it places other staff members at risk too. What the public is not aware of is, there is MORE staff that are excellent workers, more staff that care so deeply for the aged and frail, more staff that want changes so the older people will be taken care of properly. This royal commisson is far too long over due. If there is not the right changes made, I see myself leaving the industry, as I, for one do not want to placed at risk of burn out, reprimand for something out of my control, constant abuse and suspicion from family that visit, and in all probability, be witness to more situations that are swept under the carpet and deamed “acceptable” and not spoken of again. It goes against who I am as a loyal caring and honest Aged care Worker. PLEASE thing of all in the industry.

  4. Excellent Helen. Get this message out there. I’m wondering if there could be a pool of spot checking volunteers?

  5. Ratio per resident a major problem persons in charge only care about the $ they are making. Time to fix this before there are more serious problems