You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Spike in aged care complaints

AAP logoAAP 5/10/2016 Belinda Merhab

It's taken just six months for the new aged care complaints commissioner to be inundated.

More than 5000 people contacted the office with concerns between June 30 and January 1 when it was established, according to its annual report on Wednesday.

About 1600 related to matters outside the commissioner's function, including complaints about retirement villages regulated by the states.

But more than 2100 formal complaints were lodged, most from concerned family and friends of people in residential aged care.

They ranged from the dignity of the person in care to behaviour and lack of training, skills and qualifications of staff.

This was an 11 per cent jump from the 1900 complaints between January and June 2015, when the Department of Health was responsible for their handling.

"This may be due to the transition to an independent commissioner and the public becoming more aware of the office and the support we can offer," the report says.

Staff made 49 site visits as part of their investigations, including 14 unannounced.

Commissioner Rae Lamb made 231 referrals to external organisations, including more than 120 to the Aged Care Quality Agency - the independent body responsible for supervising government-funded aged care homes.

Most of those referrals regarded concerns about the qualifications and training of staff, quality of food and care and infection control.

Health Minister Sussan Ley said the overall percentage of complaints remained low.

"The report shows people - consumers, family, carers and loved ones - are speaking up when it comes to concerns about their aged care services and this is a good thing," she said.

BREAKDOWN OF COMPLAINTS BY STATE (from January 1 to June 30)

VIC: 650

NSW: 596

QLD: 401

SA: 183

WA: 99

TAS: 68

ACT: 31

NT: 15

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon