Leading Age Services Australia (LASA) CEO Sean Rooney said everyone involved in the aged care industry wants a safe and high quality aged care system and is calling for a united focus as we move towards a Royal Commission, expected to commence later this year.
“From an industry perspective I assure you that LASA is absolutely committed to working to eliminate the risk of failures and to continuously improve standards of care,” Mr Rooney said.
“Our reform agenda on behalf of our Members, to drive higher quality aged care for older Australians, is clear:
- An urgent increase in Government funding to better resource the aged care system.
- Development of our industry workforce in line with the Workforce Taskforce Strategy to deliver an increased number of staff with appropriate qualifications and skills, opportunities for ongoing learning and advancement, and ensure that staff receive fair remuneration.
- A more effective regulatory and standards regime so that if providers are not delivering appropriate quality of care that they are quickly identified and sanctioned, or shut down.
“Regrettably, as highlighted in this week’s Four Corners program, there have been instances of failures of care in the aged care system which have quite properly been the subject of investigation and sanction.
“While I have said that I am not aware of the examples raised being system-wide, I must emphasise that the examples portrayed are nonetheless completely unacceptable.
“The standard of food in some facilities was shown to be poor, along with inadequate staffing and resourcing.”
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.
“The Royal Commission into aged care, announced by Prime Minister Morrison last Sunday, will play a key role in making our aged care system better.
“It will be vital to draw out the shortcomings of our industry and further highlight areas for improvement and development.”
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,” Mr Rooney said.
“I assure you that LASA will continue to focus on ensuring Australia has a high performing, respected and sustainable aged care system that delivers accessible, affordable, quality care and services for all older Australians.”