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Terms of Reference released for the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety

09 Oct 2018

The Federal Government today released its terms of reference for the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced the appointment of The Honourable Justice Joseph McGrath, Judge of the Supreme Court of Western Australia, and former CEO of Medicare Australia, Lynelle Briggs, AO, to lead the Commission, that will be based in Adelaide.

The scope of the Commission’s inquiry is wide-reaching, with a focus on the future and quality of aged care services. The Commission has been asked to provide recommendations on improving the provision of aged services as a whole, with a focus on areas such as supporting people with disabilities residing in aged care facilities, dementia care services, services to regional and remote areas and recommendations on innovative service delivery and sustainable practices.

The Commission has also been tasked to consider the interface with other services accessed by people receiving aged care services, including primary health care services, acute care and disability services, and the relevant regulatory systems. Such a focus indicates the government’s desire to see consistency across other sectors as people transition from one care environment to another.

The government received more than 5,000 submissions during the consultation period for the Terms of Reference. While the scope is broad, with focus on quality care and future proofing the industry, it is evident recent media coverage of the industry has influenced the submissions to the Terms of Reference.

You can view the Terms of Reference here and we recommend providers take the time to understand the scope of the Commission’s inquiry. As our recent article recommended, the release of the Terms of Reference reinforces the need to commence preparations now, particularly with regard to records of historical complaints. However, as we also stated, it is important to take a holistic approach to the scope of the Commission’s inquiry. The Terms of Reference also include a task to provide ‘examples of good practice and innovative models in delivering aged care services’. The Commission will be looking to shine a light on those providers offering high-quality care and it will be an opportunity to promote the great work that is done by your organisation and the aged care industry as a whole.

The Commission will commence its inquiry as soon as practicable and will be required to produce an interim report by 31 October 2019 and a final report by 30 April 2020.

We also recommend revisiting the Hynes Legal Royal Commission Fact Sheet for more guidance on Royal Commission proceedings; however, if your organisation requires any specific advice or receives correspondence from the Commission in the coming weeks or months, 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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