Confidence in aged care reform process low

Andrew BrownAAP
Six months after the aged care royal commission, few are confident that reforms will be implemented.
Camera IconSix months after the aged care royal commission, few are confident that reforms will be implemented. Credit: AAP

Six months since the release of the aged care royal commission's final report, confidence among those in the sector that proposed reforms will be implemented is low.

A new report tracking the recommendations made by the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety showed there were few tangible milestones so far during the reform process.

The report undertaken by the Australian Aged Care Collaboration found serious concerns were already emerging in the wake of the royal commission

"A series of regulatory changes have been made or are under way, but little attention has been given to ensuring that this actually improves care," the report said.

Of the aged care providers surveyed, three-in-four said they were less than 50 per cent confident of the success of the reform process during the past six months.

Some providers who were surveyed said the approach to reform had felt disjointed, with there being a lack of overall engagement with the industry itself.

Across nine categories of reform areas, two of them had more people than not say they were confident of the process to make improvements.

Areas such as workforce issues, along with quality assurance and improvement, represented the most concern.

The final commission made almost 150 recommendations to improve the aged care sector when the final report was released in March.

Aged and Community Services Australia chief executive Paul Sadler said there was significant concern the reform process was slow and lacked transparency.

"The royal commission set out an urgent road map for reform of the broken aged care system," Mr Sadler said.

"Progress over the past six months has been disappointingly slow."

Leading Age Services Australia chief executive Sean Rooney said one of the leading concerns following the commission was a lack of suitable people to work in the sector.

"The royal commission provided a once-in-a-generation opportunity to fix the broken system and we need a skilled and experienced workforce ," he said.

"We need commitment from government to fully resource providers to better reward our workforce and support training and career progression."

A strategic response to workforce issues was needed, the groups concluded.

They have also expressed the need for better information for stakeholders about how the reforms in the sector are being implemented.

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