Aged Care Royal Commission must examine complaints mechanisms

19th Sep 2018

The Aged Care Royal Commission must examine the existing complaints process and determine how to ensure complaints result in systemic change, say lawyers.

The Australian Lawyers Alliance (ALA) has welcomed the Aged Care Royal Commission and recommends that the terms of reference should include a focus on the current complaints mechanism and examine how complaints can more effectively lead to policy change.

“Aged care residents are some of the most vulnerable people in our society and they face significant barriers to accessing justice and making meaningful complaints regarding their treatment,” said Noor Blumer, National President, ALA.

“When complaints are made it seems they are failing to result in systemic change and widespread improvement in practices.

“Creating better access for aged care residents to make complaints and seek remedies for negligence is likely to serve as a deterrent to negligent behaviour.  Drawing attention to problems should also help prevent others suffering in the same way.

“Despite alarming reports of negligent behaviour, it is very uncommon for legal action to be taken against aged care facilities. Many barriers make it difficult for residents to seek justice and these need to be addressed.”

The ALA is a national association of lawyers, academics, and other professionals dedicated to protecting and promoting justice, freedom and the rights of the individual.