NATSIAACC has developed a submission regarding the proposed new model to regulate aged care.
This submission was based on research and engagement with NATSIAACC members.
NATSIAACC makes the following recommendations:
- We recommend that cultural safety is incorporated end-to-end in the new regulatory model, and as a core element.
- We recommend that further flexibility for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander providers of aged care is provided with respect to:
- Governance frameworks and overall governance requirements need to consider good governance from an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisational and cultural perspective – operating to meet Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander older peoples’ needs.
- Reporting requirements should be simple and red tape should be reduced. Processes, administrative forms and documents (such as the key personnel form, self-assessment forms) need to be efficient, avoid duplication and be appropriately tailored to the way the providers operate (this should also include place-based approaches).
- The system should support the recruitment and retention of staff in regional and remotes areas, including additional consideration for instances where English is not a person’s first spoken or written language. This may include supporting innovative development of technologies that can bridge the gap.
- Consideration of options for a degree of self-regulation within the regulatory framework.
- Sufficient time for providers to understand, prepare and transition to the new Aged Care Act (and all associated aged care regulatory reforms).
- Providers would like to understand the mandatory regulatory requirements so that they can advise on how the same outcomes can be achieved in ways that will work for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander providers, who provide holistic, integrated and culturally safe care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander older people.
- In recognition of the different range of considerations required to support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander providers of aged care, we recommend the Department and the Regulator, in consultation with NATSIAACC as the peak body and facilitator, apply a co-design approach for the implementation of the new regulatory model and how it applies to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander older people and aged care providers.
- We recommend that the Department engage with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander aged care sector, including older people, their families and communities to specifically ensure that cultural safety is a core part of the regulatory system. As the peak body, NATSIAACC would be pleased to assist with this important work.
- We recommend that the foundations of the new regulatory model and the aged care system as whole must be reviewed to incorporate cultural safety requirements, including family and community-centred approaches.
- We recommend that the Department consider developing a resource (or ‘map’) to track the reforms and the interactions between all aged care and other relevant reforms, as well as the interdependencies.
- We recommend that the Department convene a forum(s) or roundtables with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander aged care providers to fully discuss the impact of the reforms and what changes and supports are required to ensure a smooth transition and ongoing sector viability. This recommendation could form part of the co-design process above.
- In the absence of any prior impact assessment and needs analysis of the proposed regulatory reforms, we recommend further consultation to fully understand the impact the new regulatory requirements will have on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander providers. As referenced above, we also recommend that the provider governance requirements are sufficiently flexible to ensure the ongoing viability of current providers, with a view to increasing the numbers of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander aged care providers.
- We recommend that the Department consider providing financial and administrative transition support and additional flexibility to enable Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander aged care providers to smoothly transition to the new regulatory regime.
- We recommend further engagement with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander sector is also required to inform the most appropriate timeframe for the ‘go-live’ date for the new regulatory model and the new Aged Care Act.
- We recommend the development of culturally appropriate, co-designed resources to support older people to make informed decisions and understand the impact of the aged care reforms.
- We recommend that a new Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Division (or similar) be established within the Commission. NATSIAACC must be funded to support the Commission to build cultural competency skills and could work closely with staff in their engagement with First Nations peoples.
- We recommend that the establishment of Communities of Practice would be appropriate to support the implementation of the new model. This would likely be best commenced as a formal arrangement, and with secretariat support from the Department or the Commission.
- We recommend engagement with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait sector on performance and audit reporting to inform a performance criterion for meeting the diverse needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and their communities.
- NATSIAACC recommends a co-design approach with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander providers, older people, and communities to ensure the complaint process is fit for purpose.
- NATSIAACC recommends that an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander impact assessment and evaluation of the new regulatory regime is conducted within the first year of implementation.
- For future consultations, we recommend the Department and the Regulator ensure that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, providers and other peak bodies in the sector are given sufficient time and opportunity to provide input.
Click here to download the whole submission.