LASA has provided a comprehensive submission to Minister for Aged Care Ken Wyatt and the Department of Health in response to the Review of the National Aged Care Quality Regulatory Processes (the Carnell Paterson Report) which was finalised in October 2017.

LASA CEO Sean Rooney said the review is an important opportunity to reflect on what works well in the aged care quality system and where there are areas for improvement.

“Our industry was horrified to learn of the abuses revealed at the Oakden Older Persons Mental Health facility in South Australia. As an industry and a society we must work together to ensure that this never happens again.”

Mr Rooney said the shared interests across older Australians and their families, age services providers, government policy-makers and regulators, in ensuring Australia’s age services system is safe, fair and sustainable, provides a platform for collaboration to consider the recommendations put forward in the Review.

“Any resultant changes from the Review should be carefully designed, taking into account the detailed issues noted for each recommendation in LASA’s submission,” Mr Rooney said.

“Collectively, we need to translate the report’s findings and recommendations into appropriate actions and outcomes that will address identified shortcomings and contribute to continuous improvement and community confidence.”

LASA also notes that any recommendations and associated changes must be:

  • considered in the context of the ongoing reform agenda
  • consistent with the underpinning principles of the reform agenda and acknowledge the Aged Care Sector Committee’s ‘roadmap’ and the NACA ‘blueprint’
  • considered alongside existing work underway with regards to the Single Quality Framework, quality indicators, and consumer reporting initiatives
  • be rigorously assessed with regards to intent, cost, logistics and regulatory impact for providers/consumers/ governments.

Mr Rooney said there is a view that a key contributing factor to issues at the Oakden facility was not the Accreditation Principles or processes per se, but rather inadequacies in the their application by the agencies involved.

“It is comforting to know Australia’s current aged care quality framework is resulting in the overwhelming majority of Australians in aged care and their families receiving high quality care, support and services that meet the most stringent national standards,” Mr Rooney said.

“We need an accreditation system that assures the community of the safety, wellbeing and quality of life for older Australians living in residential aged care.”

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