5 March 2021

The Final Report of the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety was released on Monday, 1 March 2021. Entitled “Care, Dignity and Respect”, the report and its 148 recommendations are welcomed by Uniting AgeWell.

You can read the recommendations here: https://agedcare.royalcommissi...

From the outset, Uniting AgeWell put itself forward to support the work of the Royal Commission, seeing it as the most significant opportunity we would have to help bring about lasting reform in aged care.

Uniting AgeWell actively contributed to submissions as part of UnitingCare Australia, participated in Royal Commission hearings in Mildura and Sydney, and workshops focused on home care. We also welcomed the visit of the late Commissioner Richard Tracey and Counsel Assisting Peter Gray, to our Strathdon Community in Forest Hill in March 2019 where they had the opportunity to view our service model first hand and speak with residents, clients and staff.

It is pleasing that the key recommendations align with what we have been saying at Uniting AgeWell for many years – residents and clients must be at the heart of everything we do.

Importantly, the recommendations acknowledge the need for significant investment in the sector, for greater staffing levels and more qualified staffing, and for stronger governance. Uniting AgeWell has previously implemented many of the recommendations made around staffing levels, 24/7 Registered Nurse coverage, Board governance and clinical governance. We are proud that we have taken such a proactive stance, choosing to invest at a time when it was not necessarily affordable to do so, but with a mindset that it was the right thing to do.

We do however remain extremely concerned at the level of underfunding of the sector and we will be doing everything we can through UnitingCare Australia and the new Australian Aged Care Collaboration to lobby Government and engage with the Australian community to ensure this once in a generation opportunity for change is not lost.

We understand the Government’s full response to the Royal Commission’s recommendations will be forthcoming as part of the Federal Budget in May. If you have not already signed the It’s time to care about aged care petition, we encourage you to do so at https://www.careaboutagedcare....

Rest assured that Uniting AgeWell remains absolutely committed to the health, safety and wellbeing of all people in our care and to always delivering care with dignity and respect.

Andrew Kinnersly
Chief Executive Officer
Uniting AgeWell