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Our response to the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality & Safety Final Report

4 March 2021

After 30 months of inquiry, the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety has presented its final report to Government. The report recommends a complete overhaul to the aged care system, placing quality, flexibility and consumer control at the centre of its function. The recommendations are carefully considered and deliver on a vision for positive ageing and dismantling the current system that is built for fiscal management rather than people.

The key considerations for the government include improving access to home care services, improving governance of the aged care system, improving the adequacy of staffing and changing how aged care is funded. The Federal government has responded with an immediate injection of $452 million into the sector with additional consideration to be given in the upcoming Budget. In his response, the Prime Minister has emphasized support for the report’s theme of “generational change, person-centred care and a needs-based system”. You can view a copy of the recommendations, summary and full report here: Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety Final Report.

How Australia as a nation progresses the fundamental need to provide care and support to people as they age is a complex issue. This was highlighted in the Final Report where, although there was agreement on the majority of the recommendations made by the two Royal Commissioners, Commissioner Briggs and Pagone did identify alternate views on some recommendations as well as authoring independent recommendations. While these alternative views will be assessed by the Federal Government in determining their response, areas of agreement in the recommendations include:

  • A single integrated assessment and funding system that combines home care, residential aged care, respite, social and assistive technology and home modification services.
  • Immediate clearing of the home care waitlist.
  • Minimum staffing qualifications and levels across residential aged care services (not fixed staffing ratios).
  • An Independent Pricing Authority to ensure subsidies and user contributions remain in line with service costs.
  • Revision of Aged Care Quality Standards aligned to Health Quality Standards (currently in place in hospitals).
  • Introduce new Governance and Prudential Regulations to protect consumers and funders.
  • Transition away from refundable accommodation deposits (RADs), a $30.2 billion liability across the sector.

Southern Cross Care Qld welcomes the report and supports findings which highlight ways in which the system can be improved. We will continue to advocate for improvements that will contribute positively to the health and wellbeing of our clients through better choice, care, respect, control and dignity. We also value providing high quality care and services which honour and respect human life that provides a freedom of choice for each individual we serve and empowers them to remain vital members our community.

We are taking proactive steps to ensure we’re building a culture of customer-focused best practice. In 2020 Southern Cross Care Qld consulted widely with our residents, clients, stakeholders and experts to develop a strategic direction and in 2021 we will present a new strategic plan which is fundamentally aligned to the objectives of the Royal Commission. This will be underpinned by a cultural transformation within our organisation which aims to grow and support our people and through them, all who are part of our broader community.

We would like to reassure our clients that we remain committed to our guiding principle that every person matters. We have a highly dedicated and qualified workforce who demonstrate love, care and compassion to our clients every single day. We acknowledge and give thanks for our staff who each day go to work and serve in a way that improves the quality of life of each individual within our care and services. We acknowledge that this will be a journey of continuous learning for all we serve, and we want you to know that our focus as an organisation will continue to be providing the highest quality care and services possible.

Please contact us on 1800 899 300 if you have any queries or concerns about services provided by Southern Cross Care Qld. You can also fill in an enquiry from at www.sccqld.com.au/contact/ or call your client facilitator directly.

Thank you for being part of the Southern Cross Care Qld family.