Draft legislation to introduce a new Code of Conduct for Aged Care is currently being considered. The Code, that will be implemented on 1 December 2022, creates a consistent set of standards for behaviour of those providing aged care and applies to providers, their governing bodies, and their aged care workers.
COTA Australia supports a consistent national Care and Support Sector Code of Conduct that has a clearly defined scope, and consistent processes that establish the behaviours, practice and culture of aged care services including management, governing persons, and workers.
Key messages in our submission are:
- The Code should include all workers with a direct care relationship with consumers not only those from approved providers.
- Older people should be able to self-manage their home care services and be reflected in the new Act and the Code should be one mechanism that supports this.
- The coverage of the Code and the range of tasks and responsibilities of workers should be clear to give consumers confidence.
- AHPRA should take centralised responsibility for the enforcement of the Code within the aged care context.
- The Code of Conduct should apply to Commonwealth Home Support Programme (CSHP) providers and workers and to non-government aged care services under the new Act.
- More details are needed on how consumers can complain about breaches of the Code of Conduct.
- Provider compliance and enforcement action needs to be published on the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission (ACQSC) website.