Mercy Foundation Social Justice Grants
January 17, 2019
Mental Health Issues Paper
January 21, 2019

Submissions Now Open to the Royal Commission into Aged Care

The Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety was established on 8 October 2018 by the Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia, His Excellency General the Honourable Sir Peter Cosgrove AK MC (Retd).

The Governor-General appointed the Honourable Justice Joseph McGrath and Ms Lynelle Briggs AO as Royal Commissioners. The Letters Patent for the Royal Commission, which formally appoint the Royal Commissioners, also outline the Commission’s terms of reference.

The Commissioners are required to provide an interim report by 31 October 2019, and a final report by 30 April 2020.

Terms of Reference

The terms of reference for the Royal Commission are included in the Letters Patent, which the Governor-General signed on 8 October 2018.

The Commissioners were appointed to be a Commission of inquiry, and required and authorised to inquire into the following matters:

  1. the quality of aged care services provided to Australians, the extent to which those services meet the needs of the people accessing them, the extent of substandard care being provided, including mistreatment and all forms of abuse, the causes of any systemic failures, and any actions that should be taken in response;
  2. how best to deliver aged care services to:
    1. people with disabilities residing in aged care facilities, including younger people; and
    2. the increasing number of Australians living with dementia, having regard to the importance of dementia care for the future of aged care services;
  3. the future challenges and opportunities for delivering accessible, affordable and high quality aged care services in Australia, including:
    1. in the context of changing demographics and preferences, in particular people’s desire to remain living at home as they age; and
    2. in remote, rural and regional Australia;
  4. what the Australian Government, aged care industry, Australian families and the wider community can do to strengthen the system of aged care services to ensure that the services provided are of high quality and safe;
  5. how to ensure that aged care services are person‑centred, including through allowing people to exercise greater choice, control and independence in relation to their care, and improving engagement with families and carers on care‑related matters;
  6. how best to deliver aged care services in a sustainable way, including through innovative models of care, increased use of technology, and investment in the aged care workforce and capital infrastructure;
  7. any matter reasonably incidental to a matter referred to in paragraphs (a) to (f) or that [the Commissioners] believe is reasonably relevant to the inquiry.

Submissions

The Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety invites interested members of the public and institutions to make submissions to the Royal Commission using an online form (the link to the form is below). The Royal Commission will continue to accept submissions until at least the end of June 2019. A date for the closing of submissions will be announced in the second half of 2019.

The online form is designed to capture information that is relevant to the work of the Royal Commission and consistent with the areas of inquiry set out in the Royal Commission’s Terms of Reference.

The Royal Commission is using one form for all submissions. Not all questions will be relevant to every person or entity making a submission.

The form includes questions about:

  • you (eg your name, contact details, whether you identify as being from a particular group)
  • your submission (eg what is it about, what type of care services does it address, is it about your own experiences or on behalf of someone else)
  • any substandard aged care services delivery that you are aware of (including mistreatment and any abuse)
  • which of the Royal Commission’s Terms of Reference your submission is about. The form also enables you to provide the Royal Commission with other comments including your views on what changes you would like the Royal Commission to recommend.

Important: please ensure you complete the form in one sitting and press ‘submit’ or it will not be saved. Before you begin filling in the form, it may be useful, and save time, to prepare your submission in a Word document beforehand and then copy and paste it into the form.

You may make your submission anonymously and you may choose not to provide contact details. Your submission will still be reviewed by the Royal Commission. However, the Royal Commission will be unable to contact you if it needs to verify details in your submission.

Your submission may be made public unless you request that it not be made public or the Royal Commission considers it should not be made public. That will usually only occur for reasons associated with fairness. Submissions that are made public may include redactions made as the Royal Commission considers appropriate. You may request that, if your submission is made public, it is made public anonymously.

Completing as much of the form as possible will assist the Royal Commission to identify issues and trends. Your assistance is very much appreciated.

If you are not comfortable using the online form, the Royal Commission would still like to hear from you. You can:

  • write to the Royal Commission at GPO Box 1151 Adelaide SA 5001.
  • email ACRCenquiries@royalcommission.gov.au
  • telephone 1800 960 711 (between 8:00am-8:00pm AEDT Monday-Friday except on public holidays).

Before you make a submission

Before you make a submission, please note that the Commission cannot resolve individual disputes. It cannot fix or award compensation or make orders requiring a party to a dispute to take or not take any action.

If you want to raise concerns about the quality of care or services being delivered to people receiving aged care services subsidised by the Australian Government, you may wish to contact the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission.

Making a submission

To make a submission to the Royal Commission, please complete the Submission form.

If you are concerned about the conduct of more than one aged care services provider you should complete a separate submission for each provider.

Information relating to the Service Provider Survey can be found on the Survey page.

How your information will be used

The information you give to the Royal Commission is provided to help the Royal Commission with its work and will be used only for the purposes of the Royal Commission.

The Royal Commission may contact some individuals or entities that make submissions. The Commission will not contact everyone who makes a submission, but will ensure that all submissions are recorded, reviewed and used to inform the Commission’s work.

The information you provide may be published by the Royal Commission during its proceedings or in its reports without revealing the identity of the person or entity who supplied the information. At the conclusion of the Royal Commission all of its records, including submissions will become subject to requests under the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (the FOI Act). Royal Commissions are not subject to the FOI Act while they are in operation.

Further assistance

If you are unsure about what to include in your written submission, the Commission has prepared some guidance to assist.

If you are having difficulty using the form you can download it as a PDF and after completing your submission email the completed form to ACRCenquiries@royalcommission.gov.au.

If you are unable to communicate via email please phone the Royal Commission on 1800 960 711 to make alternative arrangements.

If you have concerns that information that you are considering providing to the Commission may be defamatory, you should consider seeking independent legal advice.

Hearings

The Royal Commission will publish details of hearings on this page to assist parties, witnesses and members of the public.

Preliminary Hearing
(Adelaide)
Date: 18 January 2019

Location: Courtroom 11, Level 3, Roma Mitchell Commonwealth Law Court Building, 3 Angas Street, Adelaide SA 5000

Time: 10:00 am

A preliminary hearing about the operation of the Royal Commission.

No applications for leave to appear will be entertained. No witnesses will be called.

Royal Commission hearings will be open to the public although seating will be limited. Hearings will also be streamed live through this site.

Note: Please allow at least 30-45 minutes for security screening if you are planning to attend the hearing. This is important to ensure thorough security procedures are accommodated and timely arrival at the hearing.

If you would like to receive an e-mail when those details are available, you can join our mailing list.