Oakden: Federal Senate inquiry makes strong assertions – aged care system open to more Oakdens; move dementia to health, should the Quality Agency close

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The 107-page report found that many of the issues that led to substandard levels of care at the now-closed government-run facility “were not unique”.

“Many of the failures in the quality oversight frameworks are universal, in that they could occur again in relation to any aged care facility, in any location, providing any kind of general or specialised aged care service,” it states.

The committee also recommended in light of current aged care reforms, all dementia-related and other mental health services being delivered in aged care be classified as health services, not aged care services; and regulated by health quality standards and accreditation processes – a change that would have a big impact on how aged care and health care providers operate and are overseen.

The report also criticised the Australian Aged Care Quality Agency (AACQA)’s failure to detect and act on abuse cases, prompting the Federal Government to announce it would be shut down and replaced with a new aged care watchdog.

It coincides with former SA Mental Health Minister Leesa Vlahos removing herself from Labor’s ticket for SA’s upcoming state election ahead of the release of ICAC’s report into Oakden, saying “the timing of this report could mean that my candidature could become a distraction”.

Ms Vlahos resigned last September because of “health reasons”, but had planned to run for the Upper House despite widespread criticism of her handling of the Oakden scandal.

No word yet if she was one of the three people who tried to have their names suppressed in the report.

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