Establishment of Aged Care Council

Senator Mitch Fifield announces new Aged Care Council

New council will provide expert advice to the federal government.

Aged Care Planning welcomes the establishment of a new aged care council which will ensure the federal government receives advice from a range of expert voices in the provision of quality services to people in aged care. The Aged Care Quality Advisory Council was announced recently by Assistant Minister for Social Services, Senator Mitch Fifield.

As well as its essential focus on safety and compliance, the Advisory Council will also provide advice on how to broaden the quality agenda to incorporate consumer expectations in aged care services.

“The work of the Advisory Council will further strengthen the existing quality assurance framework for aged care services across the country,” Senator Fifield says.

“But I want it to also look at quality in terms of what older Australians expect from the aged care sector," he adds.

Led by Andrea Coote as chair, who served as Parliamentary Secretary for Families and Community Services in the Victorian government between 2010 and 2014, the members come with a wealth of knowledge and experience.

“The Advisory Council has a strong representation across the aged care industry from both service provider and consumer perspectives, as well as extensive experience in clinical care of older Australians,” Senator Fifield says.

The members of the Advisory Council also reflect the changing nature of the aged care sector and bring innovation in a range of areas.

“As we move to a more consumer driven system of aged care, it’s important that the government’s quality framework reflects the expectations of older Australians when it comes to the quality of care they receive,” he says.

“The safety and wellbeing of older Australians in aged care is critical – but it is not the only aspect to consider when it comes to quality of care.”

Senator Fifield adds he wants to see the sector build on strong foundations of assurances and safeguards to protect older people in their care, and then look further to how they can meet their consumers’ definition of quality beyond the baseline of safety considerations.

The Australian Aged Care Quality Agency was established on 1 January 2014 as part of broader aged care changes, and is responsible for quality assurance across the aged care sector.

Senator Fifield says the Advisory Council will support the Quality Agency as it promotes quality aged care service delivery through a comprehensive industry accreditation and education program.

Members of the Advisory Council include:

Andrea Coote (chair) - Parliamentary Secretary for Families and Community Services in the Victorian government
Carol Bennett - Alzheimer's Australia chief executive
Dr Matthew Cullen - Managing director of Tonic Health Media and a practicing psychiatrist
Associate Professor Rosanna Capolingua - Practicing GP and practice principal of Floreat Medical
Dr Stephen Judd - HammondCare chief executive
Paul Sadler - Presbyterian Aged Care NSW & ACT chief executive
Ian Yates - COTA Australia chief executive
Rae Lamb (ex officio) - Australia's Aged Care Commissioner

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