Shepparton News

Aged care focus



Aged care will be policed by a tough new cop from 2020 as the Federal Government moves to crack down on shocking cases of neglect and abuse in the sector.

Legislatio­n cleared the Senate yesterday to establish the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission, which will regulate residentia­l aged care services, home care services, flexible care services and publicly-funded aged care services.

The bill returns to lower house to tick amendments.

The commission will regulate provider approvals, quality and prudential compliance and compulsory reporting from the Health Department.

Former acting chief executive of the Northern Territory’s Department of Health the off Janet Anderson will head up the new regulator.

Greens senator Rachel Siewert was pleased the government had changed the bill after she raised issues through a parliament­ary committee.

Under the amended bill, the commission­er will have to appoint a chief clinical advisor to help the agency.

She will also be able to make informatio­n about commonweal­th-funded aged care services public, but the Greens failed in a bid for that to include staffing ratios.

‘‘We know that staffing is a huge issue in the aged care sector and families and older Australian­s should be able to see what is on offer from providers and the skills and training they have,’’ Ms Siewert said.

The agency is in addition to a royal commission.

MELBOURNE: Bhutanese twins Nima and Dawa have left a Melbourne hospital as individual ‘‘cheeky’’ girls, weeks after life-changing surgery to separate them.

The 15-month-old sisters, who had spent their lives joined at the torso, left Royal Children’s Hospital in a pram yesterday with their mum Bhumchu Zangmo, after surgery on November 9.

Lead paediatric surgeon Joe Crameri said the girls

WELLINGTON: More than 140 pilot whales have died after becoming stranded on a remote beach in New Zealand’s far south.

The 145 whales from two pods were discovered by hikers near Mason Bay on Stewart Island on Saturday night and about half were dead by the time conservati­on staff had arrived, the Department of

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