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Aged Care Royal Commission

Coming off the back of recent intense scrutiny and after a number of past government inquiries and reviews, the aged care sector is once again under the spotlight and this time the subject of a Royal Commission—the highest form of inquiry in Australia.

Established on 8 October 2018 by the Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia, the Royal Commission is intended to commence in early 2019. The terms of reference of the Commission have been issued and the Governor-General has appointed the Honourable Justice Joseph McGrath (later replaced by the Honourable Richard Tracey) and Ms Lynelle Briggs AO as Royal Commissioners. The Commissioners are required to provide an interim report by 31 October 2019 and a final report by 30 April 2020.

The areas of focus of the Royal Commission will include:

  • the quality of aged care services provided to Australians
  • how best to deliver aged care services to people with disabilities including younger people and those living with dementia
  • the future challenges and opportunities for delivering accessible, affordable and high quality aged care services in Australia
  • what the Australian Government, the aged care industry, Australian families and the wider community can do to strengthen the system of aged care services to ensure that services provided are high quality and safe
  • how to ensure that aged care services are person-centred
  • how best to deliver aged care services in a sustainable way, and
  • any matter reasonably relevant to the inquiry.

Our team has a depth of knowledge and skill in acting for the Commission—with many of our solicitors having been engaged as part of Commission teams—as well as acting for parties involved in various Royal Commissions. Our recent experience includes:

  • Acting for parties in respect to the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry.
  • Acting for parties in respect to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.
  • Advising the Anglican Church, Diocese of Sydney in respect to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.
  • Advising the (then) Prime Minister, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and various Commonwealth agencies in respect to the AWB Oil for Food Inquiry.

The team at Sparke Helmore brings a wealth of diverse experience in providing legal advice and legal services to the health and aged care sector. Our experience includes:

  • advising insurers on complex indemnity, policy coverage and liability issues
  • advising practitioners involved in medical negligence matters, and
  • representing insurers in inquiries relating to negligence in an aged care setting.

For a confidential discussion or for further information, please contact Gillian Davidson who will ensure that the right team is available to support the issues that your business is facing or those areas that you would like to advocate for before the Commission.