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Aged Care Royal Commission update: Providers urged to start preparations

26 Sep 2018

Click here to download the Fact Sheet - Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety What you need to know.

A week has passed since the announcement of the Royal Commission into the aged care sector, and the consultation period for submissions on the Terms of Reference has now closed. Just prior to the close of the consultation period approximately 3,000 submissions had been made to the Department of Health; a clear reflection of the significance of the Commission to all stakeholders in the aged care industry.

As we have seen during the proceedings of the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry (Banking Royal Commission), that Commission has honed in on some very specific issues such as the effective management of complaints, the effective management of documents and the way in which organisations have responded to requests for information from the Commission.

If the aged care sector can take anything from the Banking Royal Commission, it is a clear simple message: be prepared.


Hynes Legal has prepared a Fact Sheet for providers to consider their preparation for the Royal Commission. The Fact Sheet is a useful tool for providers to understand and prepare for the potential requirements of the Commission’s proceedings.   

As we await the release of the Terms of Reference for the Royal Commission, we recommend that providers take heed of some of the challenges experienced by the organisations who have operated within the scope of the Banking Royal Commission inquiry and immediately consider your capacity to respond to a request for information that might be provided by the RC.

To that end we suggest providers consider the following preparatory steps:

  • Review all Complaints Commissioner matters including all resolved and any unresolved matters. For unresolved matters, consider what responses can be provided.
  • Review any historical or current issues with families, be they of an existing or previous resident, regardless if any complaints were made or not.
  • Identify any significant complaints which may be unresolved or were not resolved to the satisfaction of the complainants.
  • Review and consider your strengths and weaknesses in relation to any regulatory / compliance policies, procedures, systems and processes (ie, conduct a gap analysis)
  • Collate and store in a central and easily identifiable and accessible location the following:
    • information relating to complaints made by all stakeholders within at least the last 12 months
    • information relating to significant clinical incidents
    • information relating to reportable assaults
    • information relating to any regulatory and compliance issues within the past 12-24 months;
    • documents subject to legal professional privilege

Providers should review their systems and processes to identify their strengths and weaknesses and what responses can be provided for each.

It is important to take a holistic approach to this review. The Commission provides a significant opportunity for providers to identify areas of improvement but to also identify and promote all of the great work that is done by your organisation and the aged care industry at large.

Our Fact Sheet provides more guidance for providers above and beyond the list above, however, if your organisation requires any specific advice or receives correspondence from the Commission requesting your participation, please contact us for assistance. 

This content is not intended to be a substitute for legal advice. Providers should always seek legal advice as to how any new legislative requirements will apply to the individual circumstances of their business.


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