Aged care royal commission to hear 'difficult stories'

Scott Morrison (centre) announces the royal commission terms of reference, flanked by cabinet ministers Ken Wyatt and Greg Hunt (ABC News)

Australia must be ready for some “difficult stories”, but the aged care royal commission will rebuild trust in the sector, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said yesterday. Source: SBS News.

West Australian Supreme Court judge Joseph McGrath and former Australian Public Service commissioner Lynelle Briggs have been appointed as the royal commissioners.

They will release an interim report into the aged care sector on October 31 next year, with a final report due on April 30, 2020.

“I think the country is going to have to brace itself for some difficult stories, some difficult circumstances, some difficult experiences,” Mr Morrison told reporters in Sydney yesterday.

“But that’s part of the process of this royal commission, to confront these stories honestly. To confront them in a way that helps us learn, to ensure they are not repeated in the future.”

He promised a “future-focused” royal commission that will learn from the mistakes of the past, and instil a national “culture of respect” towards elderly people.

The inquiry will be based in Adelaide, where shocking abuse of residents in the state government-run Oakden nursing home was first uncovered. It will also undertake hearings around the country, and will take evidence via video.

More than 5100 people contacted the federal Government about the terms of reference, which were released yesterday.

The terms require the commissioners to look at the extent of below-par aged care, and how to improve services for disabled residents, including young people. The royal commission will also look at dealing with dementia, people who want to live at home, and a sustainable funding model for care and facilities.

Labor aged care spokeswoman Julie Collins supported the choice of commissioners but said the government can’t wait to fix aged care issues until after the commission is finished.

Catholic Health Australia chief Suzanne Greenwood said the organisation supported the “high expectations” approach of the Prime Minister, The Australian reports.

“The Government’s pledge ‘to ensure Australians have access to the level of care and support each person would expect for themselves’ is in step with the community,” Ms Greenwood said. “The challenge for the Government and the royal commission will be in finding a sustainable funding solution and an appropriately skilled workforce.”

FULL STORY

Ready for difficult aged care stories: PM announces royal commission (SBS News)

Aged-care royal commission report to be delivered after election (The Australian)

RELATED COVERAGE

Aged care royal commissioners chosen, terms of reference outlined (The Australian)

Prime Minister Scott Morrison reveals terms of reference for aged care royal commission (ABC News)

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