ACSA voices concern over latest aged care inquiry

Aged & Community Services Australia has voiced its disappointment about yet another inquiry into aged care, this time focusing on facilities. Following a referral on 6 December 2017 from the Minister for Health, Aged Care and Sport, Greg Hunt, the Standing Committee on Health, Aged Care and Sport will inquire into and report on the Quality of Care in Residential Aged Care Facilities in Australia. The Committee invites interested persons and organisations to make submissions addressing the terms of reference by Thursday, 8 February 2018. Aged & Community Services Australia will co-operate with the Standing Committee on Health, Aged Care and Sport’s Inquiry into the Quality of Care in Residential Aged Care Facilities in Australia but urges this, and other, ongoing reviews, be targeted towards policy that supports the future of quality aged care in Australia. “With numerous lines of inquiry currently open and under consideration by the government, there is a need to focus on those areas where reform efforts will have the most impact on quality and safety,” said ACSA chief executive Pat Sparrow. “The sector is in favour of a firm but fair regulatory system that supports consumers’ safety and upholds the standards the community rightfully expects when it comes to quality of care. “With the announcement of yet another inquiry, we urge government to take a considered approach to all current review findings to ensure quality of...

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Taskforce to increase aged care workforce by 300%

Aged & Community Services Australia will play a key role in shaping the future aged care sector workforce strategy through the appointment of CEO Pat Sparrow to the new aged care workforce taskforce. The 12-member taskforce was announced last week and has been charged with developing a strategy to boost the supply of aged care workers in a sector facing a critical shortage of staff between now and 2050. “Together we have the opportunity to apply the very best thinking in the sector to solve critical issues around workforce supply, demand and productivity to get this right for the future care needs of older Australians,” Ms Sparrow said. “Getting this right now means securing the sort of workforce the sector needs into the future with the right mix of skills in those areas of most need.” “As we work through the issues, I’ll be representing providers’ views as we develop a workforce strategy that reflects a strong shared understanding of the workforce needs of the future and who is responsible for meeting them.” In announcing the taskforce, the Minister for Aged Care Ken Wyatt AM said the number of aged care workers needs to increase drastically from 360,000 where it currently stands to around one million by 2050. “Everything is on the table but there are only two things that matter, safety and quality,” Minister Wyatt said. “The Taskforce...

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LASA launches new innovation network to spur investment

A new network to foster and showcase innovation across the aged care industry has been launched by LASA at it’s annual National Congress. The innovAGEING network will connect providers, suppliers, consumers, researchers and investors through events comprising biannual innovation labs, monthly online get-togethers, eight speaker events across Australia and an eight-week innovation program that will culminate in a business plan competition. A national awards program will also be launched as part of the initiative. LASA CEO Sean Rooney said the innovAGEING network has been designed to promote innovation within the industry and across the wider community. “LASA believes that a national...

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Industry responds to aged care review

The industry peak bodies have expressed collective disappointment in the Government for ruling out changes to the annual and lifetime caps, as well as including the full value of the owner’s home in the means test for residential aged care.   In response to the release of the legislated review, ACSA described the recommendations as a “mixed affair”, with CEO Pat Sparrow warning more investment is needed to meet demand for home care along with additional – not fewer – financing options.    “The release of this report affords an opportunity for a broad discussion about the sort of care the community, particularly older Australians, expect and how it will be financed into the future,” Ms Sparrow said. “That’s why it was disappointing to see the Government rule out any changes to the annual and lifetime caps, as well as including the full value of the owner’s home in the means test for residential aged care.” “By ruling out these two financing options, the Government is limiting its own ability, as well as that of providers, to respond to the changing needs of Australia’s rapidly ageing population.” “With around 1.3 million older Australians receiving some form of aged care (in 2015-16) and that number set to grow Australia needs to have a sustainable, flexible and quality aged care system. This means we need our Parliament, the community at large and the aged care...

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