On December 14 2023, the Department of Health & Aged Care released an exposure draft of the new Aged Care Bill 2023 for the new Act for public consultation. Consultation will run until 16 February 2024.
Palliative Care NSW is encouraging our members to review this Bill and to consider if you or your organisation would like to share your views and to have your say on the proposed new Act.
Prior to providing feedback, you are encouraged to read the exposure draft of the Bill which includes the parts of the Bill that incorporate the most significant changes proposed to the aged care system. You can also access their resources
page which include prompting questions about what they are most interested to hear about and may help guide your response.
For information, Palliative Care is mentioned 5 times in the Exposure Draft in the opening sections related to definitions and principles.
The draft Act sets out a Statement of Rights, Statement of Principles, definition of high-quality aged care, new duty of care and compensation pathways, whistleblower protections, supported decision-making arrangements, and eligibility for aged care services. A future amendment bill will be required to support introduction of the new Support at Home program from 1 July 2025.
On first reading, notable aspects of the draft Act include that it:
- Sets out the right of all people seeking to access, or using, funded aged care services to “equitable access to palliative and end of life care as required.” This is consistent with previously proposed wording, which Palliative Care Australia (PCA) welcomed in their September 2023 submission to the Department of Health and Aged Care’s New Aged Care Act, the foundations (Consultation Paper 1).
- Provides a legislative basis for registered aged care providers’ compliance with the Aged Care Quality Standards, including the specific aspects of the Standards that relate to “arrangements for planning and delivery of palliative care”.
- Now includes reference to “end of life care” as well as “palliative care” in the revised draft Statement of Principles, which set out that the purposes of funded aged care services include to “maintain or improve the individual’s physical, mental, cognitive and communication capacities to the extent possible, except where it is the individual’s choice to access palliative and end-of-life care”. In PCA’s submission to Consultation Paper 1, PCA observed that previously proposed wording could inadvertently present palliative care as inconsistent with enablement, and recommended inclusion of a stand-alone principle related to timely access to palliative care.
How to Have Your Say
1. Complete a short 10 minute online survey.
You can also complete the survey over the phone by calling the consultations line on 1800 318 209.
2. By attending a Webinar on Thursday 18 January 2024.
Register to attend their next new Aged Care Act webinar at 2 pm (AEDT) on Thursday 18 January 2024.
3. By attending workshops and drop-in sessions
Register your interest to attend a workshop or online drop-in session to have your say on the topics most important to you.
Dates, locations and registration forms for these events will be available in January 2024.
4. Written submissions
Send your written submission no later than 7:00 pm AEDT on Friday 16 February 2024 by email or post.
Palliative Care NSW will be working with Palliative Care Australia and all other member organisations across the country to review the draft.
Questions about the consultation:
Ask a question by sending an email to the Department or by phoning their consultations line on 1800 318 209
For more information visit https://www.health.gov.au/our-work/aged-care-act/consultation