AMA submission to the Department of Health – draft Charter of Aged Care Rights
The single Charter of Aged Care Rights replaces the four Charter of care recipients’ rights and responsibilities under the User Rights Principles 2014. The new Charters aims to ensure that all aged care consumers have the same rights (and understands those rights), regardless of the type of subsidised care, or the location in which they receive their care.
The Charter sets out good, clear principles towards communicating older consumer’s (and their family’s and carer’s) rights when accessing Commonwealth-subsidised aged care services. The AMA suggests more detail should be provided through guidance documents. This would ensure consumers are fully aware of their rights under the new Charter. Guidance documents should target consumer groups and aged care providers separately. These documents must be easy to understand and accessible to everyone, including those who require extra assistance due to a disability, language or cultural barrier. The draft guidance documents should be open to public consultation before being implemented to ensure they are adequate.
The AMA suggests one amendment to the wording of the Charter – to add “to the greatest extent possible” to the end of Right (d) (“to maintain my independence”) to ensure the Charter reflects the reality of working with older consumers whose behaviours may on occasion not be in the best interest of themselves or the public.
The AMA does congratulate the Department on the complex task of simplifying multiple documents into something that is clear, concise, and informative as a draft for consultation.