Major Aged Care Reforms: What to expect
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New Aged Care Standards (Probably) Delayed to 2025 – An Update for Providers April 2024

23/04/24
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It looks like the start date for the strengthened Aged Care Quality Standards will be pushed back to 2025, but the issue is still unclear. Here’s what we know so far.

Note: this information is current as at 23 April 2024.

 

Background

  • The Government was planning to make three interrelated major reforms to aged care on 1 July 2024:
  1. new Aged Care Act
  2. new Aged Care Quality Standards
  3. new regulatory model
  • The new “Strengthened” Aged Care Quality Standards will reduce the number of Standards from eight to seven, and consolidate some areas covered by each of the current Standards. There will be a new Food and Nutrition Standard.

For more information on the new Act and new regulatory model, see our previous article.

 

The Delay: What We Know So Far

The Government has said that it will change the start date for the new Aged Care Act. The Government has not said when the new start date will be. These are the key points:

  • In early April 2024, Nine News leaked Government documents which said that the implementation date for the new Aged Care Act was “TBC”. The documents suggested that instead of a start date of 1 July 2024, the laws might commence in January or July 2025.
  • On 3 April 2024, the Minister for Aged Care released a statement which said, “The Government is now considering the extensive and valuable feedback to refine and finalise the draft legislation before it is introduced to Parliament. We will update the commencement date of the legislation following these updates and before the bill is introduced to the Parliament.”
  • At this point, all we knew was that the start date for the new Act had been delayed. It was not clear whether this also meant that the start date for the Aged Care Quality Standards would also be delayed. Then:
  • The Weekly Source publication reached out to the Department of Health and Aged Care and asked them if the start date for the Aged Care Quality Standards would also be delayed. The Department spokesperson confirmed that, yes, the Standards would have the same delayed start date as the Act: “The strengthened Standards have been finalised and will come into effect in line with the commencement of the new Aged Care Act.”

(Note: The Weekly Source published this information in an article entitled “New Quality Standards will come into effect with new Aged Care Act: Department confirms”, which has since been taken off their site).

 

When Will the Strengthened Aged Care Quality Standards Commence?

The Standards will (probably) commence at the same time as the new Act, which is likely to be in January or July 2025.

At this stage, that’s all we know. The Department of Health and Aged Care has yet to release an official statement confirming the commencement dates.

 

What Can Providers Do Now?

Stay alert and wait for more information from the Minister for Aged Care. Refer to our Aged Care Wrap for a fortnightly summary of aged care news.

 

 

Aged Care Reform Guide 2024

 

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About the Author

Mark Bryan

Mark is a Legal Content Consultant at Ideagen CompliSpace and the editor for Aged Care Essentials (ACE). Mark has worked as a Legal Policy Officer for the Commonwealth Attorney-General’s Department and the NSW Department of Justice. He also spent three years as lead editor for the private sessions narratives team at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. Mark holds a bachelor’s degree in Arts/Law from the Australian National University with First Class Honours in Law, a Graduate Diploma in Writing from UTS and a Graduate Certificate in Film Directing from the Australian Film Television and Radio School.

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