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Aged care quality and safety comes first



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The Hon Ken Wyatt AM, MP Minister for Aged Care Minister for Indigenous Health Member for Hasluck

Keith Pitt MP Member for Hinkler

MEDIA RELEASE

4 April 2018

Aged Care Quality and Safety Comes First

Aged Care Minister Ken Wyatt says the provision of safe, quality care 24 hours a day, every day of the year, in aged care homes in the Bundaberg area and across the nation is non-negotiable.

“The Australian Aged Care Quality Agency is responsible for administering the stringent laws, compliance and regulations that are in place, including the Turnbull Government’s new regime of unannounced auditing of homes,” Minister Wyatt said.

“The Agency advises that Bundaberg’s BlueCare Aged Care Services last received an unannounced inspection on 27 March 2018 and continues to be subject to strict improvement notices.

“I have asked the Agency for a detailed report on the progress of these Bundaberg services.

“Throughout this time, Hinkler MP Keith Pitt has strongly advocated on behalf of concerned local families.”

Mr Pitt said this had prompted a visit from Minister Wyatt.

“While I always respect the confidentiality and dignity of my constituents and their loved ones, we are very active in trying to assist with their concerns. The appropriate and immediate actions have been taken,” Mr Pitt said.

“One such meeting with constituents was taken to the Minister and resulted in the Aged Care Quality Agency undertaking unannounced inspections of local aged care facilities within a matter of days.

“We need to ensure that elderly residents are receiving the high level of care they deserve and I will not stop advocating for that on their behalf.”

Minister Wyatt urged anyone with concerns about aged care to raise them with the Aged Care Complaints Commissioner and Quality Agency surveyors. Reporting to both of these agencies is confidential and can be done anonymously.

“Aged care staff also have a responsibility to report concerns and allegations about inadequate or inappropriate care to these agencies, which are tasked with investigating these cases and enforcing compliance,” Minister Wyatt said.

”Since October, the Agency has conducted over 1,500 unannounced assessment visits on homes across Australia, targeting specific quality standard requirements.

“Since last July, five homes have had their accreditation revoked.”

The Turnbull Government has also introduced the Older Persons Advocacy Network (OPAN), which provides personal advocacy services to stand up for seniors’ rights, especially regarding aged care.

Minister Wyatt said the Government’s aged care reform agenda continues to strengthen the oversight of aged care services.

“Ensuring Australian aged care has a strong supply and adequate provision of appropriately trained, skilled and resourced staff is also one of our top priorities,” said Minister Wyatt.

“To ensure adequate staffing and skills, a workforce taskforce is due to produce Australia’s first aged care workforce strategy by July 2018.”

To raise aged care quality concerns, contact:

 The Aged Care Complaints Commissioner www.agedcarecomplaints.gov.au 1800 550 552  The Australian Aged Care Quality Agency www.aacqa.gov.au 1800 978 666.

For advocacy support, contact:

 The Older Persons Advocacy Network www.opan.com.au 1800 700 600.

Media contacts: Minister Wyatt - Nick Way, Media Adviser 0419 835 449 Keith Pitt MP - Debbie Leis 0438 310 335