Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety

On 9 October 2018 the Federal Government announced the Terms of Reference for the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety.  As a significant provider of aged care services in residential, community and in home settings across Australia Calvary’s aged and community care services will be included in the work of the Royal Commission.

At Calvary we pride ourselves on the provision of high quality care delivered by dedicated Calvary staff across Australia. We are proud of our workforce and the way you all ensure the dignity of each person is paramount and that care is tailored to each person’s well-being and goals.

Calvary looks forward to working with the Royal Commission and as National CEO, I see it as a genuine opportunity to continue to improve our services to clients and residents across our Aged and Community Care services.

 

Royal Commission Response Unit

In preparation for the Royal Commission Calvary has established a Royal Commission Response Unit to ensure that Calvary is ready to engage and that any requests from the Royal Commission are handled and responded to promptly, accurately and efficiently.

The Unit is led by Maria Jolly, the National Manager, Service Development.

 1800 549 679

 royalcommissionenquiries@calvarycare.org.au

More Information

Please visit this page regularly for any updates from Calvary about the Royal Commission.

 

Martin Bowles
National CEO

Frequently Asked Questions and Answers

A Royal Commission is formal inquiry established by Executive Government under the Royal Commissions Act 1902. The Governor-General issues Letters Patent which provide the scope and duration of the Commission’s work which is how it gets “Royal” in its title.

Royal Commissions are usually established when there is a controversial issue or problems have been identified in a certain area/sector.

There is currently a Royal Commission into the Banking and Financial Services System underway which is due to report next year.

The Royal Commissions Act 1902 sets out the powers and procedures of Royal Commissions.

Under the Act a Royal Commission is empowered to;

  • Summons a witness and take evidence
  • Require a person appearing at a hearing to produce documents and things
  • Apply to a judge for a warrant to search premises, vehicles etc
  • Compel witnesses to give evidence, including self-incriminating evidence
  • Issue an arrest warrant if a witness fails to appear and
  • Deal with contempt

Royal Commissions have coercive powers and are able to impose penalties. These penalties may include contempt of the Commission or as specific legislative offences. For example; the penalty for failing to appear without a reasonable excuse when summonsed, failing to produce a document or thing under summons or refusing to be sworn or answer questions is $1000 or 6 months imprisonment.

The maximum penalty for knowingly giving false or misleading evidence to a Royal Commission is five years imprisonment or a fine of $20,000.

The Prime Minister announced the Government’s intention to establish a Royal Commission into the aged care sector on the 16th September 2018 after being shocked by a “disturbing” trend of non-compliance and failures in the aged care sector provided in briefings to him by the public service. The Royal Commission was formally confirmed on 26 September 2018 and the Terms of Reference announced Tuesday 9 October 2018.

The Federal Government has appointed two Commissioners they are;

  • The Honourable Richard Tracey AM RFD QC – Mr Tracey was a Judge of the Federal Court of Australia from 2006 until 2018, President of the Defence Force Discipline Appeal Tribunal from 2009 until 2018, and Judge Advocate General of the Australian Defence Force from 2007 until 2014.
  • Lynelle Briggs AO – a former Australian Public Service Commissioner

What is examined by a Royal Commission is defined in the Scope and Terms of Reference.

Scope

The Royal Commission is directed to look at all forms of Commonwealth funded aged care services – regardless of where they are delivered

Terms of Reference

  • Quality and safety including the extent of substandard care.
  • How to best deliver care services to people with disabilities residing in aged care facilities including younger people.
  • How to best deliver care to the increasing number of Australians living with dementia.
  • The future challenges and opportunities for delivering accessible, affordable and high quality aged care services, including people’s desire to remain living at home as they age, and aged care in rural, regional and remote Australia.
  • What the Government, the aged care sector, Australian families and the wider community can do to strengthen care services to ensure quality and safety.
  • How to allow people greater choice, control and independence and how to improve engagement with families and carers.
  • How to best deliver sustainable aged care services through innovative care and investment in the aged care workforce and infrastructure.
  • Any matters that the Commissioners believe is relevant to their inquiry.

The Royal Commission has also been asked to specifically focus on a number of areas under section such as;

All aspects of the quality and safety of aged care services including but not limited to

  • Dignity
  • Choice and control
  • Clinical care
  • Medication management
  • Mental health
  • Personal care
  • Nutrition
  • Positive behaviour supports to reduce or eliminate the use of restrictive practices
  • End of life care
  • Systems to ensure that high quality care is delivered, such as governance arrangements and management support systems

The Royal Commission will also examine;

  • Workforce, carer supports
  • Diversity of older Australian and barriers to accessing high quality care
  • Interface with other services – primary health, acute care and disability services
  • Examples of good practice/innovative models of care
  • Finding of other reports and inquiries.

The Federal Government have asked that the Royal Commission begin as soon as practicable and that it provide an interim report by the 31 October 2019  and a final report by 12 November 2020.

Calvary is a significant provider of service to older people with 14 hospitals and  17 retirement communities in NSW, SA and the ACT; as well as providing home care support for more than 10,000 clients a month across Calvary Community Care in Victoria, NSW, ACT and South Australia.

As a significant provider of aged care services in residential, community and in home settings across Australia, Calvary’s aged and community care services will be included in the work of the Royal Commission.

Calvary welcomes the opportunity to participate and support the work of the Royal Commission.

Calvary will engage openly and transparently with the Commission.

Calvary will endeavour to be prepared and to respond quickly to any requests from the Royal Commission.

At Calvary we pride ourselves on the provision of high quality care delivered by dedicated Calvary staff across Australia. We are proud of our workforce and the way you all ensure the dignity of each person is paramount and that care is tailored to each person’s well-being and goals.

At Calvary we try to learn from each person and improve our care based on their experience and feedback.

At the same time we acknowledge that, at times, the standard of care across the aged care sector can fall well short of community expectations.

There is no doubt there are serious challenges ahead in ensuring that Australia is able to meet the growing demand for aged care services. Calvary looks forward to meeting those challenges whilst striving to provide the best care possible to our clients and residents with the spirit of Calvary guiding our work.

We see this as an opportunity to continue to improve on the services we provide to older Australians. We want our services to get better and better.

In preparation for the Royal Commission Calvary has put in place a Royal Commission Response Unit to ensure that Calvary is ready to engage and that any requests from the Royal Commission are handled and responded to promptly, accurately and efficiently.

This Unit is led by Maria Jolly, the National Manager, Service Development. Maria will ensure that Calvary is able to respond promptly, openly and accurately with any requests from the Royal Commission.

The Response Unit will ensure that any requests from the Commission, our patients, residents and clients, their families and our staff, are handled and responded to promptly and efficiently via the following dedicated options:

T | 1800 549 679
E | royalcommissionenquiries@calvarycare.org.au

We know that Royal Commissions can be unsettling for residents, clients, families and staff. We will do everything we can to support you through this process by keeping you informed and updated on the Royal Commissions work and providing information in a transparent, accountable and timely manner.

Being prepared for requests for information from the Commission is important to us. We are privileged to have the trust of our communities and by being transparent, accountable and supportive of improving aged care quality and safety, we seek to maintain your trust throughout this process.

Royal Commissions can be an unsettling and worrying for residents, clients and your families and carers. Calvary will do everything we can to support you through this process by keeping you informed and updated about the Royal Commission’s work.

If you have any concerns about the Royal Commission or issues you would like to raise, please contact The Royal Commission Response Unit

T | 1800 549 679
E | royalcommissionenquiries@calvarycare.org.au

Will the Royal Commission look at Calvary Services?

It is expected that all aged care providers, including Calvary, will be involved in the work of the Royal Commission and some providers will be called before the Commission.

Calvary is already preparing to be involved with the Inquiry. Calvary will engage proactively and positively with the Royal Commissions work and we will act promptly and accurately with any requests for information from the Royal Commission.

Is the Royal Commission the same as a court?

A Royal Commission is not the same as a formal legal proceedings before a court.

However, the hearings do have a legal appearance to them with lawyers appearing before the Commission and some of the more formal processes of Courts used.

There are serious penalties for not appearing when called as a witness before a Royal Commission, for not providing information that is requested by the Royal Commission or for misleading or lying to a Royal Commission.

Penalties can include substantial fines and/or jail sentences.

How can I get involved if I want to?

The Royal Commission will issue guidance material which outlines the process for submissions and other information to be provided to the Commissions and the timeframes which will have to be met.

If you have something you would like the Calvary to consider please contact Maria Jolly at Calvary’s Royal Commission Response Unit on

T | 1800 549 679
E | royalcommissionenquiries@calvarycare.org.au .

Will you keep me updated?

Yes. In addition to finding the latest information on this webpage, Martin Bowles, Calvary’s National CEO, will write to Calvary clients and residents or a nominated representative, on a regular basis to keep you updated about the work of the Royal Commission.

Can I talk to someone at Calvary about the Royal Commission?

Yes. If you or your family are worried about anything to do with your care the work of the Royal Commission we encourage you to speak with your local Calvary Manager.

You may also speak directly with the Calvary Royal Commission Response Unit by calling 1800 549 679 or emailing royalcommissionenquiries@calvarycare.org.au

 

About Calvary Aged and Community Care Services