MEDIA RELEASE: COTA Australia welcomes appointment of first Aged Care Quality and Safety Commissioner

Australia’s leading senior’s organisation, COTA Australia, welcomes the appointment of Janet Anderson as the first aged care quality and safety commissioner, tasked with leading the independent Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission that launches on 1 January 2019.

COTA Australia commends the Government for continued decisive actions to address urgent issues facing our aged care system, including its response in implementing key recommendations of the Carnell-Paterson review on quality regulation, while the Royal Commission does its longer-term job.

Chief Executive of COTA Australia, Ian Yates, said the timely appointment of the Commissioner was one more important step forward in fostering accountability and confidence in the aged care system and ensuring older Australians receive the highest quality aged care they rightfully deserve.

“Over the last few months we have been confronted with shocking stories of older Australians being neglected, mistreated and quite frankly, badly let down by some providers in our aged care industry.

“The imminent launch of the Commission, and the appointment of Janet Anderson today, is another step toward a new era for aged care in Australia, an era in which older Australians and families can get the aged care they want and deserve and be confident it will be a high-quality service.

“Janet Anderson has an impressive resume and is well equipped to lead the Commission in tackling the complexities and specific challenges riddling our aged care system and its effective regulation – COTA Australia congratulates Janet on her appointment and looks forward to working closely with her in her role as Aged Care Quality and Safety Commissioner.

COTA Australia also welcomes the increase in unannounced re-accreditation audits and unannounced inspections which will target particular standards, identified risk factors and complaints; and the forthcoming development of a Serious Incident Response Scheme.

“In the past too many residents have slipped through the cracks and been left in the dark with no one to speak to about their issues and concerns.

“If something goes wrong, older Australians and their families must be able to know who they can contact if they have a complaint or a problem with care, and they should feel and be supported throughout the entire complaint process. The new Commission will be that one-stop place to go for help.

The bill to establish the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission is currently before parliament and has been reviewed by the Senate Community Affairs Committee. COTA Australia has proposed a number of amendments to strengthen the bill.

COTA Australia is also seeking similar urgent action by the government to implement its in-principle commitment in the last Budget to put residential care funds in the hands of residents and families and allow high quality providers to expand in response to consumer demand and help force poorer providers out of the industry.

“Real consumer control is another essential step in creating the new era of quality aged care we all want to see, and it’s also time for action on this”, Mr Yates said.

Media contact: Ian Yates 0418 835 439, Bronte Kerr 0411 676 269

COTA Australia is the peak policy development, advocacy and representation organisation for older Australians, representing COTAs in every State and Territory and through them over 500,000 older Australians.