New Aged Care Laws on Physical and Chemical restraints are Inadequate.

In our submission to the Aged Care Royal Commission, we have analysed new Federal government laws on physical and chemical restraints.  In our opinion:

  1. The laws may exceed the Federal government’s power to make law in relation to nursing homes.
  2. The new laws set nursing home accreditation standards which could be based on actions which breach State or Territory laws.
  3. There must be uniform State and Territory laws which regulate use of physical and chemical restraints because they have the power to make laws in this area.

We concluded our submission to the Aged Care Royal Care Commission by stating:

It is not entirely clear why States and Territories do not have a greater concern about treatment in aged care facilities. Coverage of mental health laws is not adequate or explicit enough. Even where there is coverage, there appears to be no routine practice of having mental health laws apply to protect the rights of those in aged care facilities. This absence can be criticised as evidencing systemic discrimination on the basis of age. The lack of coverage and the lack of enforcement of current laws potentially leaves a vacuum of enforced legal protection for nursing home residents.

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For more information or to make an appointment in either our Canberra or Queanbeyan office please do not hesitate to contact Matthew Bridger or Thomas Maling:

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