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New aged care governance agency

The independent Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission is now in operation.

The commission combines into one agency the former Australian Aged Care Quality Agency and the Aged Care Complaints Commissioner.

The commission integrates the governance roles of both the commissioner and the Australian Aged Care Quality Agency, including compliance monitoring and complaints, to create a one-stop shop. From January 2020 the commission will enforce the Department of Health’s aged care licensing responsibilities.

The inaugural Aged Care Quality and Safety Commissioner, Janet Anderson, who leads the agency, said the commission’s focus would be safeguarding the more than 1.3 million Australians who receive an aged care service.

Unannounced re-accreditation audits of aged care homes will triple in 2019 compared with 2018, the commission said. There will also be a significant increase in unannounced inspections, to more than 3000.

The commission is underpinned by a new aged care Charter of Rights and is set to enforce a new single set of quality standards, the first upgrade of standards in 20 years.

The commission has $300 million funding over four years.