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Tuesday, August 16, 2022

OPAN welcomes new Aged Care legislation

The Older Persons Advocacy Network (OPAN) has welcomed the passage of the Aged Care and Other Legislation Amendment (Royal Commission Response) Bill 2022 through the Australian Parliament.

The Bill, which responds to 17 of the Royal Commission’s recommendations, represents a significant milestone in aged care reform.

It’s the first piece of legislation to be passed under the new Albanese Government.

One of the key measures in the Royal Commission Response Bill is a new residential aged care funding model, the Australian National Aged Care Classification (AN-ACC), to replace the outdated Aged Care Funding Instrument.

“A funding model that supports a consumer-directed approach within the residential setting is a much-needed improvement,” said OPAN’s Manager of Policy and Systemic Advocacy, Samantha Edmonds.

“OPAN considers the extension of the Serious Incident Reporting Scheme into home care to be an important step in reducing the abuse and neglect of older people.

”We also welcome the establishment of a star rating system for residential aged care service providers.”

Star ratings enable a level of standardisation by which to measure aged care providers.

“It is a quick and hopefully credible way for older people, carers and family members to assess the quality of the service and compare that quality between providers,” Ms Edmonds said.

The Bill also establishes an enforceable code of conduct for all aged care staff.

“OPAN welcomes the application of the code to governing persons, who set the culture of an organisation and therefore should be held to the same, if not higher, level of accountability,” Ms Edmonds said.

“We also support the additional powers given to the Commissioner in relation to failure to comply with the code, responding to alleged breaches of the code and enforcing compliance with the code.”

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