|Aged Care: Meet the family!|
|Wednesday, 10 November 2010 20:56 | Print page:|
Meet the Minister, DOHA and their offspring…keeping it all in the family!
Aged Care Crisis (ACC) wonders if many people realise the interconnections between the various policy, educative and regulatory arms of aged care and the full implications of such cosy relationships.
While it is beneficial to have a co-operative body assisting aged-care homes improve the quality of care provided, it is problematic when that body also performs a monitoring and assessing role and publishes the results of those assessments within the aged-care market place. Such a conflict of interest cannot be sustained and acts against the well-being of frail people in residential care.
ACC recommends the following:
Conflicts R Us?
The conflict of interest endemic in the DOHA has been noted by Professor Merrilyn Walton who chaired last year's Review of the Aged Care Complaints Investigation Scheme.
"... it's very difficult for the Department because it has so many conflicting interests ..."
Similar concerns were also made last year on ABC Four Corners' program:
"... the independent Aged Care Commissioner, Rhonda Parker, found that half of the CIS decisions that came to her for review were flawed. She told (ABC) Four Corners the CIS often failed to give reasons for rejecting complaints, that investigative processes were often poor and complainants were denied natural justice.
But the department is not obliged to accept the commissioner's recommendations and frequently does not.
Professor Alan Pearson, a former panel chair in the old Complaints Resolution Scheme, told Four Corners the CIS was operating to protect the minister. "It's a deeply flawed system" ..."
The Commonwealth Ombudsman's submission to the CIS review stated:
"... If the Aged Care Commission is to be both truly independent and perceived as such emphasis must be given to those things that impact on independence.