A large group of providers and peak bodies have announced that they will come together to figure out the best way to lobby the government on behalf of the aged care sector.
The "broad spectrum" of aged care peaks and providers have appointed consultants KPMG to "undertake a comprehensive and independent analysis of the best practice representation models as well as opportunities to develop member services".
The decision was made by the Australian Aged Care Collaboration alongside a new outfit – the Aged Care Reform Network.
So let's get things straight. The Australian Aged Care Collaboration (AACC) is a large peak body formed this year with the aim of improving the aged care system.
The AACC came into being in early 2021 with a report aimed at influencing the government's response to the aged care royal commission.
This body is made up of six major aged care peak bodies: ACSA, LASA, Anglicare Australia, Baptist Care Australia, Catholic Health Australia and Uniting Care Australia.
The newly minted Aged Care Reform Network (ACRN) is a provider-led peak body and aged care reform group made up of seven large providers: Allity, Uniting Care NSW, Opal, Estia Health, Regis Healthcare, Bolton Clarke and HammondCare
This new group replaces the Aged Care Guild – which disbanded in late 2020 after seven years – a body formed for private aged care providers as an alternative to LASA and ACSA.
Former members of the guild include Allity, Arcare Aged Care, Blue Cross, Bupa Aged Care, Estia Health, Japara Healthcare, McKenzie Aged Care, Opal Healthcare and Regis Healthcare.
The AACC and the ACRN have formed a steering committee to "evaluate the options for different representation and development models for the industry", and hope to report back on their findings by year's end.
The steering committee is made up of some major players in the sector:
- John Watkins, chair of Catholic Health Australia
- Tomas Chubb, chief executive of Allity, an ACRN member
- Kerri Rivett, chief executive of Royal Freemasons, a LASA member
- Mike Baird, chief executive of HammondCare, an ACSA member
- Mark Sewell, chief executive of Warrigal, an ACSA member
- Nick Loudon, chief executive of envigor, a LASA member
- Russell Bricknell, Chair of Baptist Care Australia
- Tracey Burton, chief executive of Uniting NSW/ACT
- Grant Millard, Anglicare Sydney Chief Executive
All this change means that we are quite likely to see an amalgamation of the aged care peak bodies in the near future.
ACRN member Tomas Chubb told Aged Care Insite that the ideal outcome of the KPMG audit is to identify a best practice model for aged care sector representation that includes all providers "regardless of size, mission or tax-paying status".
"We need a unified voice for the sector. Its current fragmented nature with multiple peak bodies is not conducive to helping shape and implement the world class-leading aged care system senior Australians need and deserve," he said.
Sean Rooney, of LASA and the AACC said: "No option is off the table and nothing will be determined until the evidence is gathered and consultation with members has occurred."
Steering committee chair Hon John Watkins said that as the aged care industry is going through a significant period of reform, it makes sense for the industry bodies to take stock.
"We want to represent our customers and communities well and ensure this reform period heralds an exciting era of real change that makes a difference to older people’s lives across Australia.”Do you have an idea for a story?
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