Consumer Roundtable with Inspector General of Aged Care

Occupational Therapy Australia hosted a Roundtable with the Inspector General of Aged Care, Ian Yates, and members of his team on 11 April 2024.

The Inspector General is required to report on the implementation of the Royal Commission recommendations with a particular focus on the ability for older people and their carers/families to access and navigate aged care services.  

OTA, Speech Pathology Australia and Australian Physiotherapy Association, along with AHPA, invited consumers, carers and clinicians to share their views on how current reforms have facilitated or hindered access to allied health services and their thoughts on navigability of the current system. 

While consumers and carers at the session talked about how valuable the support of allied health professionals and the allied health services they received, were to them, they also raised a number of issues and concerns. These included the impacts lack of service access or equipment access has had on function and wellbeing, and the significant differences in services available between home based aged care services and funding compared to residential aged care settings and funding.  The clinicians present were able to add to the experiences of the consumers and carers with their own case studies and experiences of working in aged care settings. 

The stories shared by consumers and clinicians confirmed that the recommendations of the Royal Commission on provision of allied health services have not been implemented, particularly in residential aged care settings. They also supported the continuing calls of OTA, AHPA and other allied health professions for action on this essential support for older people using aged care services. 

The Inspector General expressed interest in continuing a conversation with the AHPA and allied health professional associations on the impacts of aged care reforms on access to, and provision of, allied health services, and clinical outcomes. 

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