The Uniting Church and its network of agencies pledges to cooperate fully and openly with the Aged Care Royal Commission. The Church has issued the following Values Statement to demonstrate this commitment to transparency, accountability and continuous improvement.
In February 2019 Claerwen Little, National Director of UnitingCare Australia appeared before the Aged Care Royal Commission.
The aged care sector is about to enter a phase of unprecedented change. In the years ahead, the industry will rapidly transform under the influence of the shift in demographics, changing funding models, new quality standards and the Aged Care Royal Commission.
The Australian aged care system is in crisis as more older Australians are facing the prospect of being unable to access the care they need when they need it. In our Witness Statement to the Royal Commission on Aged Care Quality and Safety, UnitingCare Australia argued that the aged care system is not viable or sustainable in its current form as it “no longer meets the needs and expectations of its consumers and the Australian community more broadly”.
UnitingCare Australia worked with the Nous Group to develop a vision document – Ageing to our full potential – preparing for an older Australia. The vision presented in the document draws from the experience and practice-based evidence that resides within the UnitingCare network, insights from national and international research including consumer research and reports that have been commissioned or developed by the UnitingCare network.
The Report identifies five key components of our vision for the future:
The Uniting Church welcomes the decision of the Federal Government to establish a Royal Commission into the quality and safety of aged care and pledges itself to cooperate fully and openly.
The Commission’s recognition of the importance of building a national culture of respect for ageing and older persons in Australia is one we wholeheartedly endorse.
The Uniting Church, in all its expressions, seeks to reflect the way of Jesus, whose life and mission embodies God’s desire for all people to be treated with respect and compassion.
We are committed to integrity in public life and the proclamation of truth and justice.
The delivery of high quality, compassionate care and our commitment to honouring human rights is at the heart of our mission.
We value transparency, accountability and continuous improvement. We deeply regret and apologise for the times when we have not lived these values fully.
We are determined to address whatever issues and challenges may emerge for us in order to meet the needs of those people and communities in our care.
During the conduct of the Royal Commission, the Church and its Agencies will continue to strive to maintain open communication with residents, clients and their families and to support staff and volunteers. As always we remain receptive to feedback.
We look forward to contributing our expertise to the discussion on the future of aged care in Australia, and to demonstrating what high quality looks like.
We will engage with the sector and the Royal Commission to propose innovations in care, and to advocate for an equitable, affordable, sustainable, high-quality future that offers choice, control and independence to all older people, especially to those most vulnerable.