Leading Age Services Australia (LASA), the voice of aged care, said tonight’s Four Corners episode has highlighted failures of care and poor practice that are distressing and alarming.
LASA CEO Sean Rooney said we all want a safe and high-quality aged care system.
“Our older Australians need it and they deserve it,” Mr Rooney said.
“Regrettably, as highlighted in the Four Corners program, there have been instances of unacceptable failures of care in the aged care system which have quite properly been the subject of investigation and sanction.
“Our industry is absolutely committed to working to eliminate the risk of these failures and to continuously improve standards of care.
“The Royal Commission into aged care, announced by the Prime Minister Morrison on Sunday, will play a key role in making our aged care system better.”
Mr Rooney said it was important to remember that 1.3 million older Australians access services across our aged care system every year, delivered by around 430,000 aged care workers and volunteers who, by and large, deliver the best care for older Australians that they possibly can.
“The 2017 independent review of the sector conducted by Carnell and Paterson acknowledged this when it found that ‘in general, residential aged care providers delivered a high standard of care’, but every avenue to improving aged care must be pursued.”
Mr Rooney said while the Royal Commission is underway we must press on with addressing key workforce and funding issues, and not lose sight of making the system better right now.
“We have repeatedly told Government that aged care system settings have not kept pace with the changing needs and expectations of older Australians and the wider community.” Mr Rooney said.
“That said we commend Minister for Senior Australians and Aged Care Ken Wyatt and the Government on the reform agenda to date and we look forward to working in partnership in the interests of older Australians.
“The community needs to be assured that Australia’s aged care system is appropriately supported to deliver accessible, affordable, quality care and services for all older Australians.”
Mr Rooney said ageing and aged care are issues of national importance. These issues affect all Australians.
“It is beholden on everyone involved in the aged care system to work together to make the aged care system better.”