A new aged care watchdog is being created to investigate and prevent abuse occurring inside Australian residential aged care facilities.
Three existing regulators will be merged into the independent Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission, as part of a massive overhaul of Australia’s aged care system.
Federal Minister for Aged Care, Ken Wyatt told 1029 Hot Tomato the new commission has been created to identify failures in the sector.
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“An agency that is responsive to any concerns that may arise means we will have a better approach to ensuring we get the standards that we want,” he said.
Speaking to Channel Nine, Wyatt said while the majority of staff working in the sector are compassionate and caring, “there are some bad apples in the mix”.
“I am not going to tolerate providers who do not meet what is required both within legislation, regulation and in terms of quality standards.”
A serious incident response scheme will be set up to handle reports of abuse, breaches of standards and disease outbreaks.
The Council of the Ageing has welcomed the announcement, with Chief Executive Ian Yates saying it is “another significant step towards better monitoring and enforcement of quality in Australia’s aged care system”.
“These are welcome steps towards rebuilding confidence that older Australians will receive safe and appropriate care,” he said.
The new watchdog is set to be in place by January 1, 2019.