Leading Age Services Australia (LASA), the voice of aged care, broadly supports the reform roadmap set out in today’s final submission by Counsels Assisting to the Aged Care Royal Commission.

LASA CEO Sean Rooney said there were three main positive themes in the package delivered to the Royal Commission: Better quality outcomes for people receiving care, more care services aligned to quality of life outcomes and practical time lines for implementation.

“The recommendations proposed by Counsel Assisting today address a number of key structural problems that have stopped older Australians from getting the level of care and support they deserve for far too long,” he said.

“Key recommendations include a significantly higher level of staffing and resourcing for older Australians in residential care, and at home along with the elimination of the home care waiting list.

“It is not just more staff and more funding to provide care, it is a holistic approach including greater access to social inclusion, pharmacy, mental and dental health. There will be more supports for innovation in care design including telehealth and technology.

“Our preliminary view is that proposals for fundamental reform of aged care institutions – including the creation of an independent pricing authority, inspector general, and overarching commission with responsibility for funding and regulation – would help remove politics from the aged care system and ensure decisions are based on evidence, and the best interests of older Australians.

“We welcome the increased focus on the collection of quality indicators and the outcomes for older Australia to support choice and accountability at the system and provider level.

“Counsel Assisting has also proposed clear timeframes and transitional arrangements, which will be crucial to avoiding further delay in achieving the reforms that older Australians need.

There are some areas where LASA believes the approach proposed by Counsel Assisting may need further consideration, but that is to be expected in such an ambitious and broad ranging set of proposals.

“We need to better understand the potential for any possible unintended consequences of proposed personal liability measures for directors and executives and other governance and reporting requirements.

“Pushing out small providers with excessive compliance won’t help choice and discouraging good directors won’t help quality.

LASA will be working through the details of all 124 recommendations with our Members in the coming weeks.

Contact: Nick Way 0419 835 449 nickw@lasa.asn.au