Set to replace the existing four charters relating to rights and responsibilities of aged care recipients, the single charter is a component of the Single Aged Care Quality Framework and builds on the Government’s new, consumer-facing, single set of Aged Care Quality Standards which are also set to come into effect from 1 July 2019.
Federal Minister for Senior Australians and Aged Care Ken Wyatt announced the opening of the public consultation, saying it is part of the Morrison Government commitment to strengthening the regulation of the aged care system so consumers are “better protected”.
“The single Charter of Aged Care Rights is a vital part of our reform agenda,” Minister Wyatt says.
“Having a shared understanding between people receiving care and aged care providers helps everyone to work together to achieve safe, high quality aged care.
“It is my expectation that both the aged care provider and the person entering their program will sign the charter of rights.”
He adds that the charter will help to support senior Australians receive high quality care at all times and in all places.
“As we move to finalise the charter, it is vital aged care consumers have an opportunity to provide input,” Minister Wyatt continues.
“I encourage aged care recipients, families and carers to have their say on this fundamental issue.
“But we also want to hear from, service providers, consumer organisations, advocacy groups and anyone else with an interest in aged care rights.
“Implementing a single charter across all aged care will make rights clearer for consumers, regardless of the subsidised care type, in turn reducing regulatory compliance obligations for providers delivering multiple types of care.”
Aged care peak body Leading Age Services Australia (LASA) has welcomed the Minister’s announcement for public consultation on a draft single Charter of Aged Care Rights, with Chief Executive Officer Sean Rooney noting that the organisation will be making its own submission during the consultation period.
“The human connection between caregivers and care recipients (and their families) is fundamental to delivering quality care, support and service - which in turn underpins community confidence in our industry,” Mr Rooney says.
“A single Charter of Aged Care Rights will help to demonstrate aged care providers’ commitment to delivering the highest standards of care and, in doing so, help older Australians age well.
“LASA will make a submission on this… and has sought member input for this submission.
“[We have] also alerted members that a consultation paper and the draft Charter is available.”
Mr Rooney adds that the peak body supports the roll out of the new Single Aged Care Quality Framework, which includes new Aged Care Standards and the Charter.
With the new Aged Care Safety and Quality Commission, Mr Rooney says the Single Aged Care Quality Framework will be an important lever to drive continuous improvement in aged care, with a strong consumer focus.
He says LASA supports the Government’s intention that the single quality framework will:
- increase the focus on quality outcomes for consumers
- recognise the diversity of service providers and consumers
- better target assessment activities based on risk
- reflect best practice regulation
National peak body for seniors, National Seniors, has also welcomed the opportunity to contribute to the development of the proposed new charter of rights, with Chief Advocate Ian Henschke saying members will be asked for their views when it comes to the National Seniors submission.
“It is vital that consumers have a say in the development of the charter and we urge all interested people to participate in this process,” Mr Henschke says.
“A charter of rights is an important tool to raise awareness about the rights of aged care consumers.
“Alerting people to the fact they have the right to complain about the quality of their care, for example, is an essential component of any quality aged care system.”
To participate in the consultation, visit the Department of Health’s Consultation Hubbefore 10 October 2018.