Design of the aged care system – submissions invited

The Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety is inviting submissions on the future design of the aged care system.


The Royal Commissioners, the Tony Pagone QC and Ms Lynelle Briggs AO, have today released a consultation paper that explores options for future design of aged care programs. The model set out in the paper is intended to support people to pursue and enjoy meaning and quality of life whether in their own home or a residential service.


In the paper, the Commissioners ask “how could we ensure that any redesign of the aged care system makes it simpler for older people to find and receive the care and supports that they need?”


Submissions are being sought on key questions about the design of the aged care system. These submissions are an opportunity for interested individuals and organisations to help shape the future of aged care. The Royal Commissioners encourage people to download and read the paper, and respond to the design questions through a submission.


The model set out in the paper is designed around the key types of needs that older people may have, and the best ways of meeting those needs. It has several components, which can be combined to match each person’s particular circumstances and preferences. The components are:

  • A care finder to help older people link to services and to help them oversee their own care.
  • A support stream to help older people remain independent and engaged, for people who need help with things like cleaning and shopping, or remaining connected to their communities.
  • An investment stream to support older people to maintain or regain functioning, and to ensure that carers are able to count on regular and quality respite care.
  • A care stream for those older people with a need for personal and nursing care or allied health, with care matched to their need, and with a choice to receive care in their own home or a residential setting.
  • Specialist expertise from the health system and within the aged care system to support those people with more complex needs.


The consultation paper offers principles to guide redesign of the system based on the philosophy and values which the Royal Commissioners consider should underpin Australia’s aged care system. Some of the principles to be considered include an aged care system underpinned by respect and support for the rights, choices and dignity of older people; and quality and safety of care.


The consultation paper says the aged care system requires fundamental change to support these principles. The paper concludes with a set of design questions to guide submissions on aged care program redesign.


Submissions will be accepted until close of business on Friday, 24 January 2020 and should be made via email to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


The Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety was established to determine the extent of the problems in Australia’s aged care system and how best to meet the challenges of delivering aged care now and into the future. Work so far has revealed that there are endemic and system-wide problems with aged care in Australia and that it needs major reform.


The consultation paper does not provide the final word on redesigning the aged care system; that is something that will continue to be tested throughout 2020 and presented in the Final Report.


To read the consultation paper, and for more information on making submissions, see the Royal Commission’s publications page.


7 December 2019.