What is missing in the Draft Single Charter of Aged Care Rights?

26 September 2018

The draft ‘Charter of Aged Care Rights Consultation Paper’ outlines the basis for the development of a single Charter of Aged Care Rights.

Once finalised the Charter will be part of the legislative framework that governs the aged care industry.

A copy of the Draft Charter of Aged Care Rights can be accessed here.

What does the Draft Charter of Aged Care Rights contain?

  • The Draft Charter of Aged Care Rights includes a ‘Charter of Consumer Rights’ which has been mapped against the new Aged Care Quality Standards which will commence from 1 July 2019, and the existing provider responsibilities under the Aged Care Act 1997 (Cth).
  • The Draft Charter of Consumer Rights contains 12 rights centred around five key concepts:
    • dignity, respect and consideration;
    • safety and quality;
    • choice and control;
    • comments and complaints.
  • The aim of the single ‘Charter of Consumer Rights’ is to communicate clearly what consumers can expect from providers and to reduce unnecessary duplication.
  • There is a noticeable shift in the language being used, from care recipients to consumers.

What the Draft Charter of Aged Care Rights does not contain?

What is noticeably absent in the ‘Charter of Consumer Rights’ are the corresponding responsibilities of consumers which currently exist in the current ‘Charter of Care Recipient’s Rights and Responsibilities’.

Absent is the responsibility of consumers to respect the rights and needs of other care recipients/consumers.

The preamble ‘hints’ that providers ‘may have to balance competing rights’, this however does not clearly articulate and remind consumers that they have a corresponding responsibility to respect the rights of the other consumers and the staff who provide their care and services.

Industry Impact

The Single Charter of Aged Care Rights will take effect from 1 July 2019 in line with the new Standards.

It is important that Providers consider the impact the Charter ‘in its current form’ may have on the industry moving forward.

The drafting of any Charter of Rights affecting consumers, and providers must be undertaken with a balanced approach that considers all stakeholders.

Consultation Submissions

Submissions on the Draft Charter of Aged Care Rights can be made until Wednesday 10 October 2018 via the Department’s online consultation hub.

This update does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. It is intended only to provide a summary and general overview on matters of interest and it is not intended to be comprehensive. You should seek legal or other professional advice before acting or relying on any of the content.

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