The Royal Commission into Aged-Care Quality and Safety delivered it’s interim report in October 2019. Titled ‘Neglect’, it provided a scathing insight into the aged care industry - finding it centred around transactions not care. It minimised the voices of people receiving care, lacked transparency, and was staffed by an under-appreciated and under-pressure workforce.
The outbreak of coronavirus, and the second-wave of infections in Melbourne, has raised fresh questions. The virus has infected residents and staff en masse, leaving aged-care residents major victims of the pandemic.
NSW Senator Concetta Fierravanti-Wells was the shadow minister for ageing for four years, during Tony Abbott’s time as opposition leader. She has made a detailed submission to the Royal Commission, critical of the government’s attempts to reform the troubled sector.
The Royal Commission is holding hearings next week to take evidence on the affects of the COVID virus. Among the questions Fierranvanti-Wells would like asked of the industry are
“How could you have avoided the situation that you were facing?
"What is it about the system that has led to you being in this difficult situation?
"What was in place to assist you in the event of a pandemic?
"Where have you found that the intersection between health and ageing has fallen over?
"Where could you have performed a better response if you’d had better medical services available in your aged care facility?
"And what workforce was required to have been available to you in your aged care facility to meet the potential of a pandemic?”
Concetta Fierravanti-Wells submission to the commission can be read here.