New Charter of Aged Care Rights
New laws will compel all aged care providers to sign and conform to a single, strengthened Charter of Rights from 1 July 2019.
For the first time, providers will have to provide a personally signed copy of the Charter to every one of their residents and care recipients, at the same time giving them – or their authorised representative - the opportunity to co-sign the document.
The purpose of requesting the consumer’s signature is to allow them to acknowledge they have received the Charter and had assistance to understand it. Consumers are not required to sign the Charter and can commence, and/or continue to receive care and services, even if they choose not to sign the Charter.
Minister for Senior Australians and Aged Care Ken Wyatt said, “The comprehensive new Charter covers 14 fundamental protections - from safe, quality care, to independence, information, personal privacy, control, fairness and choice.”
The Charter will underpin the new Standards which include mandated quality clinical frameworks, open disclosure to consumers and minimal use of restraint, while requiring providers to prove their care and services are safe, effective and consumer-focussed.
“Being treated with dignity and living without abuse and neglect are among the top tiers of the new Charter,” said Minister Wyatt.
“Both the Standards and the Charter will further empower the new Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission, as it works with the aged care sector to protect senior Australians.
The new Charter is concise and easy to read and will be available in a wide variety of languages. It was developed through broad consultation in 2018.
More than 550 public submissions were received, approximately 40 per cent from aged care recipients, their families and carers, and around 48% from aged care providers, staff and peak organisations.
From 1 July 2019, providers must give consumers a copy of the new Charter signed by the provider, and ensure that the consumer or their authorised person has been given a reasonable opportunity to sign a copy of the Charter.
Residential aged care services will have until 30 September 2019 at the latest to provide the signed Charter to their residents. Home care providers will have until 31 December 2019.
Details of the new Charter are available at the Ageing and Aged Care website - https://agedcare.govcms.gov.au/news-and-resources/publications/guides-and-policies/charter-of-aged-care-rights-template-for-signing
23 March 2019.