COTA Australia welcomes the opportunity to provide a written response to the Senate Community Affairs Legislation Committee in relation to the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission Bill 2018.
We are pleased to see this legislation before Parliament because of the importance of establishing the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission as the single body responsible for the regulatory framework that will better protect and enhance the safety, health, well-being and quality of life of aged care consumers. In addition, we believe it will help promote the confidence and trust of aged care consumers in the provision of aged care services supported by the Commonwealth Government.
We are particularly pleased that the Bill provides for the promotion of engagement with aged care consumers by all providers, including those approved under the Aged Care Act 1997 and those delivering Commonwealth-funded aged care services. COTA Australia argued strongly for this inclusion in the Object and the Functions of the Commission and appreciate the positive response from government.
COTA Australia has been a supporter of the recently enacted Single Quality Framework throughout its development and believes that the Framework and the associated new Aged Care Quality Standards will provide more comprehensive quality for consumers across all Commonwealth-funded aged care services. This consistency across the breadth of aged care will be further enhanced by the current development of a single Charter of Rights which will also apply to consumers and recipients of all Commonwealth-funded aged care services and settings.
COTA Australia’s engagement with older Australians is substantial and we hear many stories of consumer anxiety, frustration, and despair relating to aged care services across the country. We believe the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission Bill provides for the majority of key requirements to provide assurance to all consumers and their families, and the community, that a high level of quality is being provided every day in every service setting.