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 Katy Gallagher who works from our Canberra office, working closely with the National Director Aged and Community Care, Bryan Mcloughlin.

 1800 549 679

 royalcommissionenquiries@calvarycare.org.au

More Information

I shall keep you updated as we progress and you may find all updates on this page and under ‘Messages From Martin’ further below.

 

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;

  • Justice McGrath – Judge of Supreme court of WA, former WA Director of Public Prosecutions and Senior Assistance Director at Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions and;
  • 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 30 April 2020.

Calvary is a significant provider of service to older people with 14 hospitals and aged care services with 17 retirement communities in NSW, SA and the ACT and 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 Katy Gallagher who works from our Canberra office. She is working closely with the National Director Aged and Community Care, Bryan Mcloughlin to 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:

W |  https://www.calvarycare.org.au/news/royal-commission-into-aged-care-quality-and-safety (for staff – this  will be complemented soon by another dedicated  website for consumers)

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 our Calvary family through this process by keeping them 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 their trust throughout this process.

Royal Commissions can be an unsettling and worrying for staff. 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 Katy Gallagher at The Royal Commission Response Unit

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

You are also entitled to access the employee assistance provider free of charge if extra support is required. Talk to your manager or supervisor about what support can be provided or call Optum on 1300 361 008 to talk directly with a counsellor.

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.

Will I get called as a witness?

It is unlikely that individual staff would be called to appear as a witness. Previous and current Royal Commissions usually have senior leaders and managers appear on behalf of the organisation.

Do I need a lawyer?

It is very unlikely that Individual staff will not need to have individual legal representation.

Calvary will organise legal representation required across the organisation to help us prepare and to assist with any requests from the Royal Commission.

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.

Calvary has a centralised internal process to manage the provision of information to and from the Commission.

If you have something you would like the Commission to consider it may be worthwhile you talking to your manager or contacting Calvary’s Royal Commission Response Unit on

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

Will it affect my job?

The Royal Commission should not affect your duties or responsibilities at work.

The Royal Commission may make recommendations which affect how our services are delivered but we will have to wait for the Commission to finish its work first.

I want to report something how should I do that?

Normal reporting arrangements, such as mandatory reporting responsibilities, remain in place and should be observed at all times.

If you are aware of something that falls within the terms of reference for the Royal Commission it is important that you tell your manager about it or contact the Royal Commission Response Unit 1800 549 679 or email at royalcommissionenquiries@calvarycare.org.au

There are ways for individuals to provide information to the Royal Commission but these do not replace existing responsibilities for staff at Calvary to report any concerns within the workplace in line with normal reporting arrangements. If you want to discuss the Royal Commission further you can to do that on 1800 549 679 or email at royalcommissionenquiries@calvarycare.org.au

Will you keep staff updated?

Yes. Martin Bowles National CEO, will keep staff regularly updated about the work of the Royal Commission and all information is available at the link below:

https://www.calvarycare.org.au/news/royal-commission-into-aged-care-quality-and-safety

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

Yes. The National CEO has created a Calvary Royal Commission Response Unit. You may call 1800 549 679 or email at royalcommissionenquiries@calvarycare.org.au

Or alternatively speak with your local manager.

Message from Martin – Royal Commission into Aged Care – 22 Jan 2019Answering questions from clients, patients and residents

The Royal Commission should not affect the delivery of care to our clients within our retirement communities or through community care services.

Calvary will update residents and clients regularly and as the Royal Commission progresses. If families are worried about anything to do with the care of their family member or the work of the Royal Commission then they should be encouraged to speak with the General Manager, Area Manager or Director of Operations Aged Care, Director of Operations Community Care or the National  Director Aged and Community Care.

If patients, clients and residents and /or their families want more information about the Royal Commission you can refer them to the Royal Commission Response Team:

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

Answering questions from your colleagues

Refer them to the resources below

  • A dedicated staff website page for all information:

https://www.calvarycare.org.au/news/royal-commission-into-aged-care-quality-and-safety

  • ask their manager
  • ask the Royal Commission Response Team.

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

Answering questions from the media

Any media inquiry should be handled consistent with Calvary’s Media Enquiries Procedure for management, staff, VMOs and volunteers.

Calvary has also a dedicated media representative available for questions about the Royal Commission.

Please direct the media to the contacts below for more information.

Stephen Lyons | M: 0429 591 957
media@calvarycare.org.au

If Stephen is unavailable: Sue Corlette | M: 0419 378 470