October 11, 2018

Terms of Reference released for the Australian Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety

Following the announcement of the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety, the Terms of Reference have been released and the Honourable Justice Joseph McGrath and Lynelle Briggs AO have been appointed as joint Commissioners. The inquiry is to begin as soon as practicable, with the interim report due on 31 October 2019 and the final report by no later than 30 April 2020. The Royal Commission will be based in Adelaide, South Australia.

What do the Terms of Reference outline?

The Terms of Reference direct the Commissioners to inquire into the following:

  • The quality of aged care services provided to Australians, the extent to which those services meet the needs of the people accessing them and the extent of substandard care being provided;
  • How to best deliver aged care services to people with:
    • disabilities in aged care (including young people)
    • dementia (having regard to the importance of dementia care in light of the increasing number of Australians living with dementia);
  • Future challenges and opportunities for delivering accessible and high quality aged care services, including:
    • in the context of changing demographics and preferences (such as people's desire to remain living at home for as long as possible)
    • in remote, rural and regional Australia;
  • What the Australian Government, and the aged care industry, can do to strengthen the system and ensure that the provision of services are safe and of a high quality;
  • How to ensure that aged care services are person-centred (including giving people greater choice, control and independence in relation to their care);
  • How to best deliver aged care services in a sustainable way (including increased use of technology and investment into the aged care workforce and capital infrastructure); and
  • Any matter reasonably incidental to any of the above, or reasonably relevant to the inquiry.

The Commissioners have been further directed to make any appropriate recommendations arising from their inquiry, including policy, legislative, administrative or structural reforms.

As foreshadowed in Clyde & Co's previous update following the announcement of the Royal Commission into Aged Care, the terms of reference are very broad. They cover many aspects of the aged care sector with a particular focus on consumers. Although the Commissioners will inquire into failings of the sector, many of the Terms or Reference are prospectively focused, requiring the Commissioners to inquire into, and make recommendations about, improvements to the system.

We will continue to follow developments and keep the market updated as they unfold.