A new report shows aged care complaints have soared 43 per cent in just two years, as Prime Minister Scott Morrison rejects including disability providers in the upcoming royal commission.
The Aged Care Complaints Commission received 5779 complaints in the past financial year, up from 4711 the previous year and 3936 the one before.
More than half of complaints in the past year came from family members or representatives of people receiving care, while one-in-five came directly from care recipients.
A quarter of complaints were from anonymous sources, other interested parties or referrals from other agencies, according to the commission’s annual report released on Friday.
Three in four complaints (4315) related to residential aged care facilities, while the rest pertained to in-home services.
The top three issues raised in complaints about the administration and management of medicines, personal and oral hygiene, and staff ratios.
In home care, the most common complaints were around fees and charges and a lack of consultation and communication.
The troubling statistics come as Mr Morrison digs in against calls for a royal commission into aged care to investigate abuse in the disability sector.
Mr Morrison expects to announce the commissioner and terms of reference in coming weeks, but is adamant disability providers won’t be covered.
‘We need to ensure the royal commission needs a clear focus and it can’t be a royal commission into everything,’ he told ABC radio on Friday.
‘If it becomes that it loses its ability, I think, to be quite targeted in the recommendations it can make.’
Mr Morrison is determined to restrict the commission to in-home and residential aged care, including young Australians living with disabilities inside those centres.
‘The royal commission needs to be focused for it to be effective,’ he said.