Royal commission hearings begin

Aged care in spotlight as royal commission public hearings begin in Adelaide

Aged Care Royal Commission
Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety Richard Tracey. Photo: Wayne Taylor.

Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety Richard Tracey. Photo: Wayne Taylor.


Commission described as once-in-a-lifetime chance to make aged care world class.


AS the first hearing of the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety gets under way, one thing is for sure: we will be shocked.

Families, care recipients, medical and nursing staff, advocacy and industry bodies will have an opportunity to voice their views and concerns, in what will prove a testing time for the aged care industry.

Hearing 1 began in Adelaide Monday (February 11) and runs for three days before returning from February 18-22.

The hearing will consider the key features of the aged care quality, safety and complaints system, including how the system was operated, monitored and regulated prior to January 1, 2019, and how it is expected the system will be operated, monitored and regulated following the establishment of the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission.

First to give evidence at Monday’s hearing was Barbara Spriggs, whose husband Bob died at the now closed Oakden aged care facility in South  Australia. 

Mrs Spriggs called for CCTV cameras to be installed in public areas of aged care facilities and a national database of workers who mistreated residents.

For more on yesterday’s hearing, click HERE

Also appearing yesterday was National Seniors Australia chief executive Professor John McCallum, who cautioned that dementia training for aged workers must be made compulsory or abuse in the sector will continue. Read more HERE 

Once-in-a-lifetime opportunity

Last month, commissioner Lynelle Briggs described the commission as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to forge a better path in aged care, saying our system should be world class, simple to understand, easily navigated and accessible to all.

Her words were echoed by fellow commissioner Richard Tracey, who said the hallmark of a civilised society is how it treats its most vulnerable – “and our elderly are often amongst our most physically, emotionally and financially vulnerable,” he said.

The Adelaide hearing will be held in Courtroom 11, Level 3, Roma Mitchell Commonwealth Law Court Building, from 10am.

Hearings will then be held in all capital cities and some regional locations. They will be announced on the commission website when finalised.

Royal commission hearings will be open to the public, although seating will be limited. Hearings will also be streamed live through the website.

Keep up to date with what’s happening at the royal commission with The Senior.