Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety – COVID-19 response

Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety – COVID-19 response

General submissions to the Royal Commission are closed but submissions on the impact of COVID-19 and in response to the matters to be examined in the hearing on COVID-19 commencing on 10 August 2020 will remain open until Friday, 4 September 2020.

Submissions should address the response to the COVID-19 pandemic in aged care, and what can be learned from this experience for responding to future pandemics, infectious disease outbreaks or other emergencies, including:

  • the role and responsibilities of State, Territory and Federal governments in responding to such crises in aged care services
  • what should be done and by whom in the future to support the aged care sector to respond to pandemics, infectious disease outbreaks or other emergencies
  • the balance between managing risks posed by a future pandemic or infectious disease outbreak and maintaining the overall health and wellbeing of aged care recipients including their mental health and quality of life
  • the measures taken by the health and aged care sectors to respond to the pandemic including transporting infected residents to hospital
  • the impact of those measures on older Australians receiving aged care services, their families and their carers
  • challenges faced by the aged care sector including those relating to management, workforce and access to personal protective equipment
  • any other related matters.

Submissions on these matters are to be emailed to covid19submissions@royalcommission.gov.au by no later than Friday, 4 September 2020.

Anyone with a story, positive or negative, about an experience in Aged Care can provide a submission to the Royal Commission.  A Royal Commission operates like a Court and has the power to compel testimony. You can find more information at https://agedcare.royalcommission.gov.au/submissions/COVID-19-submissions.

 

What is the Royal Commission investigating?

Submissions addressing the response to the COVID-19 pandemic in aged care, and what can be learned from this experience for responding to future pandemics, infectious disease outbreaks or other emergencies, including:

  • the role and responsibilities of State, Territory and Federal governments in responding to such crises in aged care services
  • what should be done and by whom in the future to support the aged care sector to respond to pandemics, infectious disease outbreaks or other emergencies
  • the balance between managing risks posed by a future pandemic or infectious disease outbreak and maintaining the overall health and wellbeing of aged care recipients including their mental health and quality of life
  • the measures taken by the health and aged care sectors to respond to the pandemic including transporting infected residents to hospital
  • the impact of those measures on older Australians receiving aged care services, their families and their carers
  • challenges faced by the aged care sector including those relating to management, workforce and access to personal protective equipment
  • any other related matters.

 

Who can make a submission?

Anyone who has a story to tell about aged care in Australia can make a submission.

 

How can I make a submission?

Submissions are to be emailed to covid19submissions@royalcommission.gov.au by no later than Friday, 4 September 2020.

 

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 in response to COVID-19?
  • What is it about your aged care response to COVID0-19 experience that you think is most important for the Commission to know?
  • What was your best experience of aged care response to COVID-19?  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

 

How can I find out more?

Further information is available on the Royal Commission website: https://agedcare.royalcommission.gov.au/submissions/COVID-19-submissions

You can also register to receive notifications directly from the Royal Commission: https://agedcare.royalcommission.gov.au/news/Pages/Mailing-list.aspx