Innovation and the Aged Care Royal Commission

“The neglect that we have found in this Royal Commission, to date, is far from the best that can be done. Rather, it is a sad and shocking system that diminishes Australia as a nation.”

The Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety’s Interim Report


The Aged Care Commissioners’ use of emotive language in their interim report is designed to make all Australians re-think the way we protect and care for the elderly and most vulnerable in our community. Amongst the demographic, social and economic pressures highlighted in the report, there is a human decency question at the centre. How do we adapt and evolve our own thinking and attitudes to the elderly and vulnerable?

The interim report points to increased levels of care being demanded of providers, yet played out against razor thin margins. How do we learn and continually improve in this environment? Innovation is part of the answer.

Agnes was on the innovation panel at the recent ACSA National Summit. We believe aged care’s strength is the naturally collaborative and caring culture that exists throughout the industry. We need to add to this strength with an innovation mindset. Innovation is about people and culture. The answers of how to become a more efficient industry, whilst at the same time improving the level of care, sits with the people who work day to day in the industry. An innovation mindset begins with identifying what is needed to implement those answers.


Our presentation at the ACSA Summit can be summarised as:

  1. Innovation in aged care needs to be both an organisation and industry wide mind set
  2. We need to reframe the question of creating innovation in isolated projects to how do we share everything we learn across the whole of aged care?
  3. Innovation is people & culture; technology is one of the enabling tools
  4. We need to Invest in the 10% help needed to get the 90% of innovation answers already within aged care
  5. The $152 million one-off payment in 2005 to residential aged care providers for improved information technology infrastructure proved that Government incentives to help facilitate innovation in aged care do work


Care Factor, the incubator for aged care start ups, is an example of innovation currently at work in the industry. Care Factor was launched in September of this year. The model works by bringing together aged care providers, industry leaders and business mentors to work with the start ups. Rather than innovation in a corner, Care Factor brings a collaborative methodology to share innovation across the whole aged care industry. For more on Care Factor, click here.

We are looking forward to being part of the pitch day for the teams in Brisbane on the 11th December . It is the culmination nearly of 3 month’s work for the Care Factor teams. It is also the next stage in bringing further innovation to aged care and, importantly, improving the level of care.