Aged home drop-in checks begin
A NEW aged care overseer opening its doors on Wednesday will carry out hundreds more on-the-spot checks of nursing homes across Victoria.
The independent Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission will employ dozens of additional senior compliance officers from its four-year budget of almost $300 million.
The number of unannounced audits will jump from a little over one a week last year, to five a week this year. Nationally, the number of on-the-spot checks will soar from 263 to almost 900 this year.
Aged Care Minister Ken Wyatt said the new commission was a "landmark" reform to improve the quality and safety of aged care.
"For the first time, senior Australians and their loved ones have one place to go when they need help, want to raise a concern, or access information about an aged care service," Mr Wyatt said.
The commission will have a new chief clinical adviser to oversee the quality of aged care across the nation.
More than $48 million of its budget will go towards increasing compliance inspections, thousands of which will be carried out unannounced.
The inaugural Aged Care Quality and Safety Commissioner, Janet Anderson, said she was delighted to open the new Commission for business.
"Our key focus will be on safeguarding the more than 1.3 million senior Australians who receive some form of aged care service," she said.
"The Commission's vision is to support a world-class aged care service driven by empowered consumers who enjoy the best possible quality of life."
Last year, the Herald Sun revealed that the number of reported physical assaults and sexual attacks in Victoria's aged care centres had soared to almost three a day.
More than 1000 assaults were reported in aged care in 2017-18, up almost two-thirds in six years. These included 882 serious physical assaults, 147 sexual assaults, and seven violent sexual attacks.
Aged care centres in and near Camberwell, Dandenong, Epping, Glenroy, Oak Park, Hadfield and Avondale Heights experienced the highest number of reported assaults in recent years.