The Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety will examine all aged care services and the interface between health, aged care and disability services and the aged care system including how people transition from one care setting to another. A Royal Commission operates like a Court and has the power to compel testimony.
Anyone with a story, positive or negative, about an experience in Aged Care can provide a submission to the Royal Commission.
What is the Royal Commission investigating?
The Terms of Reference for the Royal Commission can be found on the website here.
In broad terms, the Terms of Reference include:
- The quality of aged care services provided to Australians, the extent to which those services meet the needs of the people accessing them
- How best to deliver aged care services
- The future challenges and opportunities for delivering accessible, affordable and high quality aged care services in Australia
- How to strengthen the system of aged care services to ensure that the services provided are of high quality and safe
- How to ensure that aged care services are focused on the people receiving care
- How best to deliver aged care services in a sustainable way
- Any matter reasonably incidental to the above.
Who can make a submission?
Anyone who has a story to tell about aged care in Australia can make a submission.
What is the timeframe?
Public Submissions: December 2018 to until at least the end of September 2019. A date for the closing of submissions will be announced in the second half of 2019.
Interim Report: 31 October 2019
Final Report: 30 April 2020
How can I make a submission?
The Commission will take submissions in a number of ways:
- Via the online form https://agedcaresubmissions.lawinorder.com.au/#/ (nb: you can download a copy of the form from the website before you start to fill it in. It is helpful to do this as they ask that you complete the form in one sitting.)
- Write to the Royal Commission at GPO Box 1151, Adelaide SA 5001 (submissions can be in the form of a letter)
- Oral submission via telephone 1800 960 711 (between 8:00am-8:00pm AEDT Monday-Friday except on public holidays). Interpreter service available.
Telling my story:Before you start your submission, it is useful to think about what you want to tell the Commission and maybe write a draft.
The following questions could help as a starting point:
- What was the quality of the aged care services delivered to you or someone you know?
- What is it about your aged care experience that you think is most important for the Commission to know?
- What was your best experience of aged care? What worked well?
- What changes would you like the Royal Commission to recommend?
It is advisable not to use individual names or terms that have a legal meaning (e.g. negligent) in your submission as there is potential for the submissions to be made public and therefore may be open to claims of defamation.If you have concerns that information you are considering providing to the commission may be defamatory, you should consider seeking legal advice.
What will happen to the information I provide?
The Royal Commission may make submission evidence public. However, you can request that your submission not be made public. You may also request that, if your submission is made public, it is made public anonymously.
Where can I get support?
Supports required by individuals to tell their stories, and to listen to the stories of others, take different forms but be aware that it can be an emotional journey and it is important to think about who you might like in your support team.
Consider getting support early as it can be upsetting to recount stories that have been a source of considerable pain and trauma.
While the Royal Commission process is very valuable and gives us all a voice, particular outcomes are not guaranteed. Change may not come in the way that you would wish.
There is a list on the Royal Commission website of funded services available to anyone who is experiencing concern or distress from their participation in or issues that emerge during the Royal Commission https://agedcare.royalcommission.gov.au/support/Pages/default.aspx
In Tasmania, you can also contact Relationships Australia. There is a small charge for counselling services.
Relationships Australia – Tasmania 1300 364 277
We can expect that the Royal Commission will conduct public hearings in Hobart sometime before the end of 2019. Dates are not set at this stage and will be announced progressively throughout the year.
It is important to note that the Royal Commission will select whom it wants to call as witnesses to the public hearings; it will not be able to interview everyone who makes a submission.
Royal Commission hearings will be open to the public although seating will be limited. Hearings are also streamed live through the Royal Commission website and transcripts are available shortly after the conclusion of the hearings.
How can I find out more?
Further information is available on the Royal Commission website: https://agedcare.royalcommission.gov.au/Pages/default.aspx
You can also register to receive notifications directly from the Royal Commission:https://agedcare.royalcommission.gov.au/news/Pages/Mailing-list.aspx