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Terms of reference deliberately broad for aged care inquiry

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Prime Minister Scott Morrison has unveiled the terms of reference for the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety, saying he expected it to uncover some horror stories in the sector.

“I think the country is going to have to brace itself for some difficult stories, some difficult circumstances, some difficult experiences,” Mr Morrison said.

Flanked by Health Minister Greg Hunt and Aged Care Minister Ken Wyatt, the Prime Minister said the Royal Commission wasn’t just about the terrible incidents of abuse and neglect, but also about how to deal with “this problem and this challenge” into the future.

“We need to establish a national culture of respect for senior Australians and Australians as they age,” he said.

The PM has appointed Supreme Court Justice Joseph McGrath and former Australian Public Service Commissioner Lynelle Briggs to head up the Royal Commission.

The inquiry will travel the nation but will be headquartered in Adelaide, the epicentre of neglect in the aged care sector following the uncovering of shocking abuse in the Oakden nursing home there.

The terms of reference are “deliberately broad” and go to the investigation of mistreatment and all forms of abuse; how best to deliver services to people with dementia; and how to care for young disable people living in aged care facilities.

The Royal Commission has until April 2020 to complete its investigation and report to the Government, but must deliver an interim report in October next year.