A missed opportunity to improve practice around the use of restraints and consent in residential aged care: Limitations of the Quality of Care Amendment (Minimising the Use of Restraints) Principles 2019
On November 13, 2019 The Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights released a report following their inquiry into the Quality of Care Amendment (Minimising the Use of Restraints) Principles 2019.
This report is encouraging and provides minimum but comprehensive recommendations about the legislation including:
– the instrument be amended to include clarification around other laws that prohibit the use of both physical and chemical restraint without prior informed consent;
– continued obligations for prescribers to exhaust alternative options and obtain informed consent prior to the use of chemical restraint;
– obligations of providers to obtain or confirm informed consent prior to the administration of chemical restraint;
– improved oversight of the use of restraint in aged care and mandatory reporting requirements for the use of restraint
Hopefully these recommendations will be taken up.
“Many people receiving aged care services have their basic human rights denied. Their dignity is not respected and their identity is ignored. It most certainly is not a full life. It is a shocking tale of neglect.”
These words taken from the Interim Report of the Royal Commission into Aged Care that was released on October 31, 2019. It is a detailed report over 3 volumes that recounts the evidence collected over the last 10 months and plans for the remaining 12 months of the inquiry. One area the commission is encouraging urgent attention to is the inappropriate use of chemical restraint in aged care facilities.