The Government can do something about the use of chemical and physical restraints in aged care right now, by immediately amending the Quality of Care Amendment (Minimising the Use of Restraints) Principles 2019 tabled in Parliament by Government earlier this year.
"The regulation is currently before the Senate in the form of a disallowable instrument.
"The regulation is overwhelming considered by stakeholders to be flawed and it is feared that the regulation could lead to an increased use of chemical restraints.
"The regulation takes a permissive approach rather than a last resort approach and is not focused on elimination of the use of restraints.
"It does not require informed consent for chemical restraints and has no time limits on physical restraints.
"There is no requirement for a behavioural support plan for a resident before administration of a chemical restraint. Behavioural support plans are important because they look at alternatives to using restraints.
"There is no requirement for providers to register the administration of chemical restraints.
"We already regulate the use of restrictive practices in the disability sector. The aged care sector is falling behind and failing to protect older people.
"Amending this regulation is a clear step the Government can take to start addressing the mess the Royal Commission has highlighted."
Lucy Cowcher-Guthrie: 0418 401 180