Updated 2 March 2021
A royal commission is the highest level of public inquiry in Australia. Its main functions are to investigate an issue, produce a report and make recommendations to government. This work is informed by extensive input from members of the community, who were invited to share their concerns about the matter/s being investigated.
The Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety was established by the Federal Government in 2018 in response to growing concerns about the quality of aged care in Australia. The Royal Commission explored issues relating to care that is provided in residential settings as well as care that is provided in the home. The exact issues to be considered are set out in the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality & Safety’s Terms of Reference.
The Royal Commission released the interim report ‘Neglect’ in October 2019. The report found the aged care system fails to meet the needs of its older, vulnerable citizens. It does not deliver uniformly safe and quality care, is unkind and uncaring towards older people and, in too many instances, it neglects them. The Commission stated that the focus for 2020 would be on how to design a future aged care system that puts older people first. Due to COVID-19 the Commission released ‘Aged care and COVID-19: a special report’ following their investigations on the response to COVID-19 in aged care.
The Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety’s Final Report has now been tabled in the Australian Parliament (1 March 2021) and is available to read on the Royal Commission website.
The Final Report, entitled Care, Dignity and Respect, calls for fundamental reform of the aged care system. Royal Commissioners Tony Pagone QC and Lynelle Briggs AO make 148 wide-ranging recommendations in their Report, which comprises 5 volumes.
COTA Australia provided submissions and was a witness at hearings during the Royal Commission. View COTA Australia’s submissions here.
COTA will continue to inform and advocate for older Australians as the Royal Commission findings are considered and government decisions are made to create a better system for all as we age.
Thank you to all who have contributed in various ways over the past two years which has informed COTA Queensland’s contributions to COTA’s submissions.
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