Response to Recommendations in Counsel Assisting’s Final Submission

The Aged Care Royal Commission held a Final Hearing in late October at which Counsel Assisting presented the Commissioners with  a series of 124 recommendations as part of their final submission. The recommendations did not cover all aspects of the Royal Commission’s brief but most aspects. Commissioners are not bound by the recommendations.

There are two documents available download from this page. A detailed, line by line response to Counsel Assisting’s recommendations, and a shorter summary of key points of interest.

COTA supports the majority of the recommendations but disagrees with some key proposals, especially those that would give more power to aged care  providers rather than consumers.

Key recommendations COTA supports (with some caveats)

  • A New Act, a strong base for effective and lasting change
  • Remove waiting times in home care
  • Defining and measuring quality is important but must be consumer informed
  • Informal carers or family/friend carers must be supported as part of the system
  • Improving access to health care for older people in both residential and home care
  • Reforms to Prudential regulation and financial oversight welcomed

Recommendations we do not support, or which require further attention and reconsideration

We disagree with, or there are omissions or a lack of clarity and detail in the following areas:

  • Consumer empowerment, choice and control must be a key outcome of reform.
  • Care finders and case managers/management should be on the consumer’s side and independent of government and providers.
  • Transparency and accountability of service performance and cost is critical.
  • Rationale and argument for ‘System governor’ recommendation will not achieve objective and likely to be counterproductive – in particular COTA opposes lumping all functions together.
  • User contributions should be easy to understand, fair and meaningful.
  • Home care needs significant policy and program development recommendations.
  • Implementation of the abolition of the Aged Care Approvals Round (ACAR) process.