The Commissioners have decided to suspend all hearings and workshops for the time being, subject to ongoing review. This decision is a consequence of the evolving coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, and based on information available from the Australian Government.
The Commissioners said this suspension would also apply to group consultations which have been part of the engagement work conducted by Royal Commission staff.
This decision will immediately affect all hearings and workshops currently scheduled until at least the end of May 2020.
The Commissioners are carefully considering the implications this decision will have on their continuing work program.
The Commissioners emphasise that the health and wellbeing of staff and those engaging with the Royal Commission is critically important. The Royal Commission’s future work program will be informed by public health advice.
In making this announcement, Commissioners said, “Meaningful engagement with the sector is paramount to the work of the Royal Commission’s inquiry into aged care quality and safety, which is why we have decided to suspend all hearings and workshops. We must allow service providers and Government to fully focus on their response to the pandemic.”
The Commissioners recognise the substantial efforts being made by aged care service providers and health services, and their staff, in supporting the needs of older people during this crisis.