The Interim Report from the Royal Commission into aged care quality and safety was released on 31 October 2019.
Titled Neglect, the Commissioners have laid out a confronting and searching overview of what they believe to be the fundamental issues facing Australia’s aged care system and which, ultimately, have failed vulnerable people in our community who rely on others to care for them.
Key issues identified included under-resourcing, a pervasive ageist culture, and an absence of accountability and lack of transparency by government, regulatory bodies and providers. The report also highlights significant issues around funding structures and levels; pathways into care such as My Aged Care; integration between the aged care sector and primary health; and workforce issues including resourcing, education and ongoing training.
The report calls for a major overhaul of the aged care system to ensure that quality services and care are provided to older Australians, and sets out three areas for immediate action:
- Provide more Home Care Packages to reduce the waiting list.
- Fix an over-reliance on chemical restraint in aged care.
- Stop the flow of younger people with disability going into aged care.
As aged care providers of long standing, we at Banksia have found it difficult to take in much of the evidence presented to the Commission to date and the individual cases highlighted in its interim report. For over 25 years our mission has been to provide the highest quality of care and support to those who call Banksia home, and to continue improving the way we do this.
We share the concern and outrage felt across the community and country that vulnerable people have been let down so inexcusably by breakdowns in care. However, we point out that the performance of these providers in no way reflects any of Banksia’s values or operations.
Banksia’s Board and management welcomes the Commission’s interim report – as difficult and challenging as it is to read – and its initial recommendations for immediate action. However, we believe that much more is urgently needed, including an immediate increase in funding in residential aged care and implementation of strategy to address critical workforce shortages.
Ultimately, Banksia is hopeful the Royal Commission will result in positive outcomes and further recommendations that will bring government, providers and the community together to create a sustainable, functional, compassionate, rewarding and people-focused aged care sector for the future and for the benefit of all Australians.
Banksia has provided a comprehensive response to the Royal Commission’s calls for sector information, and will continue to participate in discussion and communication with stakeholders to ensure ongoing engagement in this very important community debate.
3 December 2019
About Banksia Villages
Banksia is a community owned, not for profit and charitable organisation and has been providing retirement living and aged care services to the local community for more than 20 years. Banksia employs more than 100 people and has a motivated and focused team of governors, managers, clinical staff, care workers, maintenance and administrative staff with the single mission of providing the highest levels of service, care and facilities to Banksia’s residents and clients.
Banksia works hard to maintain compliance with regulatory standards, and is fully accredited. However, Banksia does not view compliance as the benchmark for performance. Rather, Banksia measures its performance through the delivery of person centred, tailored and flexible care and services and the outcomes achieved for residents and clients and their families.
Banksia is accountable across all aspects of its operations and welcomes any questions from residents, clients, family and friends, the regulators and, in due course, the Royal Commission. Banksia encourages any persons with questions or concerns about any aspect of its operations to bring them forward by contacting our care team managers or senior management team.
Additionally, organisations such as the Senior Rights Service or the Older Persons Advocacy Network provide a valuable service and may be able to assist. Government also have a structured and robust system of reporting and responding to any concerns, including the Australian Aged Care Complaints Commissioner. Contact details are provided below.
For further information in relation to this position statement please contact Graham Wise: P: 02 4471 6031 or E: firstname.lastname@example.org
Older Persons Advocacy Network (OPAN): http://www.opan.com.au/advocacy/ on 1800 700 600
Senior Rights Service: http://www.seniorsrightsservice.org.au on 1800 424 079
Australian Government’s Aged Care Complaints Commissioner: https://www.agedcarecomplaints.gov.au/internet/accc/publishing.nsf/Content/Home or 1800 550 552