Royal Commission Updates - Helping Hand

Royal Commission Updates


Read previous updates about the Royal Commission below

Click on the date to read the Royal Commission update.


The Royal Commission has called for submissions from the general public and organisations on the impact of COVID-19 on the aged care sector. The deadline has been extended to 30 June 2020. Click here to read the media release and make a submission.

The Aged Care Royal Commission has announced that all hearings and workshops are suspended for the time being, subject to ongoing review. This decision is a consequence of the evolving coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Click here to read the media release

The Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety has taken the precautionary step of not permitting the public to attend hearings and workshops until further notice due to the risk to public health from the coronavirus (COVID-19). The proceedings of the Royal Commission will continue to be public through the live webcast available from the Commission’s website.

The Royal Commissioners want to ensure robust measures are in place to protect the public, particularly frail older people, who may be at risk of contracting the virus at public events like hearings.

These measures also ensure that the work of the Royal Commission can proceed as it completes its program of public hearings and workshops and develops recommendations to be published in its final report due for completion in November 2020.

Accredited members of the media will continue to have access to attend public hearings and workshops in the course of their work.

Following a call for submissions made in December 2019 by the Commissioners in Consultation Paper 1, the Royal Commission has this week published a selection of these submissions on their website. To view these submissions, click here.

The Royal Commission has announced details on its first hearing for 2020, which will be conducted as a workshop. It will focus on the redesign of the aged care system and will be held in Adelaide from 10 to 11 February 2020. For more details visit the Royal Commission website.

The Royal Commission is inviting submissions from interested individuals and organisations on the future design of the aged care system. A consultation paper has been released that asks the question “how could we ensure that any redesign of the aged care system makes it simpler for older people to find and receive the care and supports that they need?”. For more information and to have your say, visit the consultation page on the Royal Commission website.

The Aged Care Royal Commission Canberra hearing has now concluded, which signals the final hearing of 2019. Hearings and community forums will resume in 2020, with details to be announced in the new year.

Click here to read our CEO Chris Stewart’s thoughts on the Royal Commission into Aged Care – we need to act now!

An Interim Report has been released by the Aged Care Royal Commission today (31 October 2019). In this Interim Report Commissioners have identified three areas which require immediate action:

  • to provide more Home Care Packages to reduce the waiting list for higher level care at home
  • to respond to the significant over-reliance on chemical restraint in aged care, including through the seventh Community Pharmacy Agreement
  • to stop the flow of younger people with disability going into aged care, and expediting the process of getting those younger people who are already in aged care out.

The Final Report will be handed to the Governor-General on 12 November 2020. Go to the Royal Commission website to read the full interim report.

The Aged Care Royal Commission has now been extended by six months, as approved by Prime Minister Scott Morrison on 20 September 2019. Originally due by 30 April 2020, the final report will now not be released until November next year. There has been no change to the interim report which is expected to be released by 31 October 2019. Read a summary update here

The National LGBTI Health Alliance are seeking expressions of interest from key LGBTI representative bodies, researchers and elders to form an LGBTI Aged Care Royal Commission Advisory Group. For more information and to participate, visit their website

The Commission will hold a public forum in the Adelaide Town Hall on Monday 12 August, 1:30pm to 4:00pm. It will provide a chance to hear about the work of the Commission and to offer ideas on the challenges, strengths and opportunities to improve aged care. Go to the booking website to register your interest in attending.

The Commission will continue to move around the country and will hold hearings in all capital cities and some regional centres until December. The next two Royal Commission sessions are in Western Australia: 17–19 June in Broome, and 24-28 June in Perth. The focus for these hearings will be indigenous care, person-centred care and delivery of aged care in remote locations.

The second round of hearings in the Royal Commission were held in Sydney from 6-17 May. The focus of these hearings was on the quality and safety of residential aged care, with a particular emphasis on care for people with dementia. The Commission heard a range of witness testimonies including from residents, family members, aged care staff, CEOs of aged care services, government representatives and several peak body and other agency spokespeople. Some of the key topics raised during the hearings were in relation to staff training levels, restrictive practices and models of care. We are hopeful that final recommendations from the Royal Commission will lead to positive change and increased investment that will improve outcomes for all older Australians.

From 18—22 March 2019 the Aged Care Royal Commission held its second round of hearings in Adelaide. The focus for the Commission in this period was home care services. The eight topics specific to home care, focused on in March included: accessing My Aged Care; the waiting list for aged care services in the home; the approval process for providers of home care services; the regulation of services (and ensuring the quality and safety of services in the home); fees and charges; unspent funds in home care; consumer directed care and the administration of home care packages; and workforce. The next round of hearings, scheduled for May in Sydney, will focus on residential care.

The Aged Care Royal Commission began its first public hearings in Adelaide on 11 February 2019 with a range of witness testimonies heard from consumers, peak bodies from many areas and statisticians. The start of the Commission process was to describe the aged care sector and to outline the main issues experienced within the sector. Helping Hand welcomes the Royal Commission and looks forward to recommendations, likely to be handed down at the end of this year, and how they will help drive improvements in the sector for residents, clients and staff.

The first public hearing will be held in Adelaide from 11 February to 13 February, and from 18 February to 22 February 2019. Subjects to be covered in this hearing include:

  • Key features of the aged care quality, safety and complaints system
  • How the changing demographics of the Australian population will affect the aged care system
  • The nature and meaning of ‘quality’ and ‘safety’ within the Australian aged care system
  • Key issues affecting the functioning of the Australian aged care system, from the perspectives of representative bodies and people receiving or seeking aged care services.

Helping Hand was one of the top 100 organisations that was invited to make a submission by 7 January 2019. We have done this and will be openly and transparently participating in the commission as it moves forward. Helping Hand feels positive, and agrees with the Commissioners statements made last Friday, that this is a once in a lifetime opportunity for all voices to come together to develop an aged care system that meets the needs of the community.

The Commission will hold its preliminary public hearing in Adelaide at 10:00am on Friday, 18 January 2019 at the Roma Mitchell Commonwealth Law Courts Building, and will commence hearing evidence from witnesses from February.