5 July 2022
The voice of aged care consumers and their families is vitally important for the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission to hear and understand.
This is the message from Aged Care Quality and Safety Commissioner, Janet Anderson, as the Commission establishes its first ever Consumers and Families Panel.
“People receiving aged care, and their experience of that care, are central to the Commission’s purpose – ensuring their wellbeing underpins all of our efforts,” Ms Anderson said.
“They must be front and centre of everything aged care providers do, and also in the work of the Commission, placing the needs of those receiving care at the forefront at all times.”
To better understand what’s important to people who use aged care services, the Commission is establishing a Consumers and Families Panel made up of people receiving Australian Government funded aged care services, their family members and representatives.
The Commission wants the panel to reflect the diversity of people who access aged care across Australia.
“It is very important that the panel is as diverse as the people who use Australian Government funded aged care,” Ms Anderson said.
“We are inviting anyone living in residential aged care or receiving home care or using Commonwealth-funded aged care services in the community to share their ideas and opinions with us. We’re also interested in hearing from family members and carers of aged care recipients, and people who are considering using aged care services within the next 12 months.”
The Consumers and Families Panel will help the Commission, as the national aged care regulator, in its work overseeing the quality of aged care services and resolving complaints about these services.
“It will improve the way we regulate aged care services and resolve complaints and help make sure that the information we produce is fit for purpose and easy to understand for everyone,” Ms Anderson said.
The Commission will invite panel members to share their ideas and opinions about things such as:
- issues that are of most concern to people receiving care that the Commission should know about
- how the Commission can reach people better
- how people can be better supported to interact with the Commission
- videos or other resources prepared by the Commission.
Panel members will be able to provide input and engage in different ways, including by email or telephone, or by taking part in online or in-person meetings.
The CEO of the Older Persons Advocacy Network (OPAN), Craig Gear OAM, welcomes the Commission’s new Consumers and Families Panel.
“Older people must be consulted at every step of the aged care journey to ensure their rights, needs and preferences are being met,” Mr Gear said.
“The Consumers and Families Panel will enable older people and their families to better engage with, and inform, the aged care regulator. Their lived experience is critical to ensuring all older people receive the care and services they deserve.”
People wishing to be part of the Commission’s Consumers and Families Panel can register their interest via the Commission’s website at www.agedcarequality.gov.au/consumer-panel or call the Commission on 1800 951 822.
For more information about the Commission and its work, please visit the Commission’s website at: www.agedcarequality.gov.au.
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