General Submission – Aged Care Royal Commission

This submission was prepared in late 2019 and early 2020 and is one of several inputs from COTA Australia to the Aged Care Royal Commission. It was intended to be submitted earlier but was delayed by COTA’s active participation in COVID-19 developments.

The submission draws on consultations with many stakeholders including other members of the COTA Federation and members of the Consumers Organisations Forum of the National Aged Care Alliance (NACA). Even though some COTA positions on reform issues have been updated and clarified in subsequent submission to the Royal Commission, it covers a wide range of issues and is based on significant consultation.

The submission outlines the COTA vision for the future of Aged Care and acts a source of information for the Royal Commission on the current aged care system. COTA’s vision includes consumer choice and control, consumer co-design, high quality services based on strong service standards, simple and easy navigation, timely access with no undue waiting periods, transparency of  information on services, cost and performance, robust complaints processes and fairness and equity in service provision and fees.

The submission provides information on the historical context for the current system and COTA’s involvement and support for many reform developments particularly the establishment of the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission, the Aged Care Roadmap and many recommendations in the Legislated Review of Aged Care Services (Tune Review).

The submission provides strong endorsement of human rights to tackle systemic ageism, disempowerment and institutionalisation. It also outlines information related to the performance of My Aged Care and improvements to system access. Considerable attention in the submission is given to information and improvements to care for older people at home particularly discussion of Commonwealth Home Support Program (CHSP) and Home Care Packages. The relationship between Aged Care and other health and human service systems is also substantially addressed along with detail on how a future Aged Care system could be funded, balancing fair and equitable consumer contributions with more substantive government finance mechanisms.