On 28 April 2020, the Commissioners made a general request for submissions from aged care providers, people who received aged care services, and their families about the impact on the aged care sector of the coronavirus (COVID-19). The Commissioners thank those who have made submissions to date and continue to encourage others to make submissions.
As part of their ongoing inquiry into the quality and safety of aged care services in Australia the Commissioners will inquire into certain issues arising from the responses to COVID-19.
The Commissioners hope to understand the impact of the pandemic upon older Australians, their families and their carers, in aged care facilities and receiving home care. They will inquire into the measures put in place to protect older Australians, their families and those employed in aged care. They will consider how best to react to such events in the future while balancing the need for safety and wellbeing for all.
The Commissioners will learn from how residential aged care facilities such as Newmarch House, Dorothy Henderson Lodge and Opal Care Bankstown responded to the crisis and what more could have been done to support them. They will also look at how most home care providers and other facilities avoided an outbreak and seek their ideas about how to manage future pandemics or infectious disease outbreaks. The inquiry will include responses from the Australian Department of Health and the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission.
The focus of the inquiry will be upon the lessons that can be learnt for responding to future pandemics or infectious disease outbreaks. The purpose of the inquiry is not to find fault or apportion blame.
14 May 2020