The Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety has suspended all hearings and workshops until the end of May due to the evolving COVID-19 pandemic.
The Commissions said this suspension would also apply to group consultations which have been part of the engagement work conducted by Royal Commission staff.
The Commissioners are carefully considering the implications this decision will have on their continuing work program.
They emphasised that the health and wellbeing of staff and those engaging with the Royal Commission is critically important. The Royal Commission’s future work program will be informed by public health advice.
“Meaningful engagement with the sector is paramount to the work of the Royal Commission’s inquiry into aged care quality and safety, which is why we have decided to suspend all hearings and workshops,” Commissioners said.
“We must allow service providers and Government to focus fully on their response to the pandemic.”
The deadline for submissions to the Royal Commission has been extended by two months to 30 June.
The Commissioners recognise that meaningful engagement with the aged care sector during the pandemic is not possible and so allowed more time for their involvement in the inquiry.
The Commissioners recognise the substantial efforts being made by aged care service providers and health services, and their staff, in supporting the needs of older people during this crisis.