Newsletter - Issue 4 - January 2020
Deadline for submissions is 30 April 2020
The Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety will continue accepting submissions from the public until the end of April 2020.
Submissions are a vital part of the Commission’s inquiry and help to inform our understanding of the lived experiences of older Australians, their families and carers, as well as that of those working in the industry.
The perspectives and suggestions of advocates, researchers, organisations and sector experts also contribute to the shaping of the Commissioners’ recommendations going into the Final Report.
Following the close of submissions from 30 April 2020, the Royal Commission will continue its work on developing its final recommendations based on the evidence heard at hearings and workshops, information gathered at roundtables, service provider visits and community forums, and the submissions received from the public.
Please share your story with us
- You can tell your story in your own language.
- We want to hear from everyone by 30 April 2020.
- The commission will pay for an interpreter or for translations into English, at no cost to you.
Aged Care Royal Commission 2020 Hearings
The hearing schedule for the Royal Commission in 2020 is being announced progressively as arrangements are finalised. For the latest information visit our website, follow us on Facebook and Twitter and sign up to our mailing list to stay up to date with future announcements.
The Royal Commission is also holding hearings as workshops in 2020. You can read more about workshops on page three.
About the Royal Commission Interim Report
The Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety released its Interim Report on 31 October 2019 and was the mid-point of the inquiry. The report was the first opportunity for the late Commissioner, the Honourable Richard Tracey AM RFD QC, and Commissioner Lynelle Briggs AO, to share preliminary conclusions of the Royal Commission ahead of the Final Report.
The Interim Report details the state of aged care and indicates it will include a fundamental redesign of aged care in Australia in its Final Report in November 2020. Entitled Neglect, the Interim Report finds that the aged care system fails to meet the needs of our older citizens in the delivery of safe and quality care. Neglect sets out what the Royal Commission has learned and the key areas of work ahead.
While ultimate conclusions and recommendations will be reserved for the Final Report, the Commissioners identified in the Interim Report three areas for immediate action:
- To provide more Home Care Packages to reduce the waiting list for higher level care at home
- To respond to the significant over-reliance on chemical restraint in aged care, including through the seventh Community Pharmacy Agreement
- To stop the flow of younger people with disability going into aged care, and expediting the process of getting those younger people who are already in aged care out.
The report stated that it is clear that a fundamental overhaul of the design, objectives, regulation and funding of aged care in Australia is required – not merely patching up. It said that the Royal Commission is committed to systemic reform and that such reform will be the central purpose of the Final Report and it also informs the Commissioners’ approach to the Interim Report. The report noted that the breadth and complexity of this task is great.
Entitled neglect, the interim report finds that the aged care system fails to meet the needs of our older citizens in the delivery of safe and quality care
The Final Report
The Final Report will recommend comprehensive reform and major transformation of the aged care system in Australia. It will chart a new direction for the sector, bringing a clear sense of purpose and of quality, and a renewed focus on compassion and kindness. The Final Report will be handed to the Governor- General on 12 November 2020.
Royal Commission Workshops: Explained
The Royal Commission is holding hearings in the form of workshops to gather evidence and test propositions and ideas with panels of witnesses focused on a specific issue or topic.
Royal Commission workshops are like hearings in that they will hear from witnesses, and will be public, with a live webcast and a transcript from each day made available on the Royal Commission website. Unlike hearings, however, workshops are on a smaller scale and seating is very limited. Interested members of the public are encouraged to follow our workshops through the live webcast.
Unlike the roundtables conducted in 2018 and 2019, workshops will be conducted in public. The information given by participants in workshops will be considered to be evidence. Workshops will be more structured than roundtables with Counsel Assisting questioning participants. The panels of up to 9 witnesses will take part.
Workshop participants are chosen based on their experience or expertise and past engagement with the Royal Commission. The Royal Commission will announce the details of workshops, including witnesses, in advance of each session and will contact those witnesses it intends to hear from.
What will happen at Workshops?
Group discussions between panels of individuals will be facilitated by Counsel Assisting and presided over by the Commissioners. Individual participants will not be examined in the way familiar in ordinary hearings, but will be questioned where useful to test propositions or may be invited to expand on views expressed.
(Q) I have a complaint about aged care services I received, will the Royal Commission investigate it?
A: The Aged Care Royal Commission is an inquiry into aged care services in Australia and cannot investigate complaints. The agency that handles complaints about aged care is the Aged Care Quality and Complaints Commission which can be contacted on 1800 951 822.
(Q) I have made a submission to the Aged Care Royal Commission. Now what?
A: When you have made a submission you should receive a reference number. This is your record that your submission has been taken by the Royal Commission. If the Commission needs to contact you for further information, they will use the details you have provided. We cannot contact you if you have not supplied your personal details.
Individuals who are visually impaired can call our inquiry line for assistance with a question or to make a submission.
For people who are hearing impaired or have complex communication needs, we are using a phone service provided by the National Relay Service.
The Royal Commission can provide an Auslan interpreter at hearings and community forums upon request.
We can also accept submissions in other languages over the phone or via hard copy.
We are using the Translating and Interpreting Service to help support this.
Deadline for submissions is 30 April 2020.
Counselling and support
Please go to our support page to see a full list of support services that are available to you.
The Royal Commission website has a number of elements designed to make it easier to use:
- You can read about the Royal Commission in plain English
- There is information in other languages
- We offer guidance on making a submission and details of further assistance on the submissions page of the website
- We are on Facebook www.facebook.com/agedcareroyalcommission and Twitter @RoyalAged
To date, the Royal Commission has received over 8000 submissions. We have received over 5500 phone calls to the Commission.