“I moved to disallow the original regulation because it was overwhelming considered by stakeholders to be flawed and it is feared that the regulation could lead to an increased use of chemical restraints, Australian Greens spokesperson on Ageing Senator Rachel Siewert said.
“In light of what the Royal Commission interim report said I’m disappointed at the piecemeal amendments they have made. They simply do not go far enough to protect older Australians.
“The amended instrument does not go far enough and does not address our concerns outlined in the dissenting report by Labor and Greens members to the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights.
"This was the first time that a dissenting report has been submitted to this committee and the concerns are not to be taken lightly.
“The amended instrument lists codes of appropriate professional practice for medical and nurse practitioners to obtain informed consent before prescribing medications. However, it still doesn’t explicitly require informed consent to be obtained before chemical restraint is used which is very concerning.
“The amended instrument does not include effective reporting mechanisms on the use of chemical and physical restraints and hence limits the capacity to properly oversight restraint use. There is no plan for an administration register which records all usage of chemical restraint. There is also no requirement for a behaviour support plan.
“While we welcome the addition of a review of the operation of the instrument by 31 December 2020, this is not enough.
“The Royal Commission’s interim report concluded that “the ongoing and common use of restrictive practices in aged care represents severely substandard and unsafe care” and that the new instrument falls well short of the approach adopted by the disability sector which prescribes strict rules around the use of restrictive practices.
“The Government can do something about the use of chemical and physical restraints in aged care right now but they are refusing the advice of stakeholders and professionals for a way forward."
Lucy Cowcher-Guthrie: 0418 401 180