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Lawyers react to aged care royal commission

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Lawyers react to aged care royal commission

Aged care, senior citizen

News of an impending royal commission into Australian aged care facilities has lawyers talking, with one firm saying stakeholders in the sector will be “extremely nervous” about the probe.

Yesterday, new Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced a royal commission into aged care facilities will be conducted, following years of allegations of abuse, mistreatment and understaffing.

Commenting on the plans, Creevey Russell Lawyers principal Dan Creevey said any inquiry will have a significant impact, adding that many stakeholders in the aged care sector will be extremely nervous that they're going to be under the microscope.

“The royal commission is going to have a significant and long-lasting impact on the Australian population, and how nursing homes and aged care facilities are run and managed moving forward,” Mr Creevey said.

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"There is no doubt there is going to be a significant number of individuals and facilities who are going to be extremely nervous about this announcement. We have already seen how damaging the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse and the Royal Commission to the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry have been. We expect no different from the royal commission into aged care facilities."

Mr Creevey said the firm expects a significant number of recommendations will be made as a result of the probe.

"A significant number of facilities and individuals will be required to give evidence at the hearing. A significant percentage of our country is going to be effected by the result, especially with our ageing population," he added.

Speaking about the matter further, Creevey Russell senior associate Trent Jones noted it is important that "proper representation is obtained by individuals or facilities to ensure their interests are being protected".

"People need to understand that the procedures and policies at a royal commission are different to a standard courtroom. It’s a long process. People who are called to give evidence need to know exactly what their rights and obligations are to ensure that their interests are being promoted,” he said.

“It is important people get proper representation.”

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