The Australian Government commissioned an independent capability review of the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission.
The review, in response to the Royal Commission recommendation 104, is looking at whether the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission has the appropriate resources, workforce and skills to:
- meet its legal and regulatory responsibilities
- accredit aged care providers
- deliver education activities to ensure the protection, safety and welfare of older people using aged care services
- investigate complaints to ensure providers comply with the Aged Care Quality Standards and take strong enforcement action if required
- work closely with aged care providers
- promote an aged care experience that our community expects, and older Australians deserve.
ACRN provided a submission as part of the public consultation process.
In it, we outline our belief that the current model creates role conflict and a lack of capacity of the regulator to focus on the care of individuals. The promotion and provision of incentives for existing Providers to meet and improve on quality standards, audit and accreditation requires a different approach and conflicts with complaints management and community education.
We believe that one agency should not deliver all of these functions.
To communicate the voice of our grassroots membership we included examples of complaints shared by our membership. And, in keeping with our values of constructive collaboration, we suggested 10 additional questions for the review to consider. We also shared how we think the Review could assist in progressing meaningful change, for instance by
- Focussing on how to drive better performance in the sector
- Setting appropriate performance measures and performance indicators needed to gauge if the ACQSC is effectively regulating and driving improvement of the system in ways that benefit older Australians
- Assessing whether the regulator has the capabilities to transform the sector in a timeframe that meets community expectations. Older people are being harmed in aged care and their families and carers are being traumatised by engaging with the aged care regulatory system
- Assessing whether the ACQSC can effectively implement change management strategies to transform the sector to a consistently safe, caring environment for older Australians
- Identifying if the ACQSC has the right regulatory activities and has the ability to measure the effectiveness of those activities to drive a significant improvement in care and reduction in harms currently being experienced by older Australians engaging with aged care services.
You can download our submission below.
Our submission as well as all other received submissions for this review will be published on https://www.health.gov.au/.
You can read all ACRN submissions as part of our activity in the reform process here.