The Royal Commission has significantly and substantively noted that aged care services in Australia are not consistently delivering good outcomes for older people. It has highlighted failures of both organisational and systemic governance in protecting and enhancing the wellbeing of people using aged care, in both residential and home care settings.
In this submission, we discuss the key elements of governance and how such elements should incorporate a human rights approach to delivering consumer outcomes. Central to the submission is the importance of consumer choice, consumer protection and consumer engagement in the role of governance in a transformed aged care system.
COTA develops seven key principles for improving aged care governance for the Royal Commission to consider:
- Any future system must be measured by consumer-centric outcome measures
- Consumer Engagement and Service Co-Design must be embedded in the culture and processes of governance
- Transparency and Accountability must be ensured to enable genuine consumer choice
- There must be National Consistency in achieving consumer outcomes and delivering consumer choice
- Regulation must be effective and responsive to protect consumers
- Services must ensure access and quality services for all consumers by responding to Diversity
- All system governance must ensure it focuses on building the highest quality Workforce Capability.
COTA proposes strengthening current governance mechanisms in the first three years after the Royal Commission’s report before considering any move toward establishing a new System Governor.