Aged Care Royal Commission – Aged Care Program redesign: services for the future

COTA Australia welcomes the opportunity to comment on the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety’s Consultation Paper 1 – “AGED CARE PROGRAM REDESIGN:  SERVICES FOR THE FUTURE”.

COTA maintains its support for the future of aged care as broadly envisaged by the Aged Care Roadmap’s ‘Destinations’.  This includes it being a system rebuilt around genuine consumer choice and control and creating a continuum of care regardless of the location in which that care is delivered.  Our vision for the aged care system is agnostic as to where and how care and services are delivered.

We are pleased to see the Government’s commitment to part of this vision, in its response to the Royal Commission’s Interim Report in which it reaffirmed the Government’s policy that it will establish “a single unified system for care of our elderly in the home” and create “a single assessment workforce and network”.

We also want to see a clear timeline to place funding in the hands of consumers in what is currently referred to as residential care, following the Government’s in-principle commitment in the More Choices for a Longer Life package in 2018. An implementation strategy is now in the Government’s hands (after much delay) and must be enacted forthwith.

We have also called for a clear and transparent plan to reduce the waiting times for Home Care Packages to no more than 60 days, involving both staged financial commitments and a workforce recruitment and development strategy, with the target to be achieved within two years.

COTA Australia has taken the challenge laid out by the Royal Commission’s Interim Report and is developing a transformational aged care model for the future. In doing so we have consulted with a range of  stakeholders to better inform our thinking as part of our ongoing response to the Royal Commission. We do not anticipate the final version of this model to be available until late February or early March 2020. Should the Royal Commission wish to be provided with an early draft of our model, we would be pleased to provide a confidential not-for-publication version upon request. We will of course provide a copy to the Commission once it has been finalised.