A month on from the scathing Aged Care Royal Commission report, aged care providers have released a formal response, backing recommendations for independent oversight of the sector, as well as better pay and training for staff.
The Australian Aged Care Collaboration (AACC), a group representing more than 1000 for-profit and non-profit providers, has charted a 15-point plan which essentially lobbies the Federal Government to prioritise 52 of the Royal Commission’s 148 recommendations.
“What we’re looking for now is a complete system overhaul, not tinkering at the edges, which is what we’ve had from successive governments over many years,” Patricia Sparrow, CEO of Aged and Community Services Australia, told reporter Bridget Fitzgerald on ABC Radio.
“Effectively we need more and better paid and trained workers, we need to be able to provide more home care to support people to stay at home – there’s nearly 100,000 people waiting for home care packages.
“We need to address the issues in residential care. We want to make sure the system is underpinned by a rights-based approach, we need to make the system more transparent, and that includes things like having good clinical indicators, having a star-rating system, reporting on service levels, reporting on care staff hours.”
Sean Rooney, CEO of Leading Aged Services Australia, said transformation is what’s required, and that starts with a reimagining of the aged care system.
“The royal commission report said that a fundamental breakdown in the system is that it’s not adequately resourced to deliver the services that are required.
“I think they quoted a figure of $9.8 billion that has been removed from the system over the last few years. And we know that if we want a world class system it needs to have world class funding.
Sparrow said there’s a desperate urgency for the Government to act as soon as possible on the report’s recommendations.
“We’ve had more than 20 reports over 20 years it’s just absolutely time for this overhaul to happen now.”