COTA Australia welcomes the opportunity to contribute to the Consultation on the draft National Aged Care Advocacy Framework (Framework). Along with a range of other consumer supports individual advocacy services delivered under the National Aged Care Advocacy Program (NACAP) are a critical component of ensuring consumers are aware of and exercise their rights and responsibilities under various Commonwealth funded aged care services.
It is important to note that when referring to consumers of aged care services within the definition of the NACAP, this term should extend to both clients of these services and their carers. It is noted that section three of the framework does refer to including “their families or representatives”, however there is a concern that unless explicitly clarified, consumer will be interpreted to mean clients only.
The 2015 review of Commonwealth aged care advocacy services (‘2015 Review’) Final Report recommended the development of the Framework. Broadly speaking, this recommendation was included to promote national consistency across the individual providers of advocacy services under the program. The Final Report recommends a number of principles and definitions be adopted within the Framework to provide a model of aged care advocacy that is both nationally consistent and adaptable to the individual’s circumstances. COTA Australia supports the intent of this recommendation and the introduction of the Framework.