Aged care monitoring
The Ombudsman monitors the treatment and conditions of people who are detained in health and disability facilities. This includes places where people are not free to leave at will - primarily, locked aged care facilities.
On this page
Many of the people detained in these facilities are older people and have dementia.
In June 2018, the Minister of Justice made it explicit that the Ombudsman is to monitor privately-run as well as public aged care facilities (see June 2018 Gazette notice).
This work helps fulfil New Zealand’s obligations under the United Nations Optional Protocol to the Convention Against Torture (OPCAT) to prevent torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment and punishment.
With funding secured from 1 July 2019, a monitoring and inspection programme is being developed and introduced over three years, starting with orientation visits to locked units in privately-run aged care facilities to help inform the programme’s development.
- Ombudsman to monitor private aged care facilities and court cells
- Aged care monitoring update and info sheet
- Legal framework for Chief Ombudsman's inspections of health & disability facilities
- Aged care inspection programme timeline
- Orientation visits: First step in developing aged care inspections programme info sheet
- Orientation visits: Information for residents and whanau
The Chief Ombudsman’s designation on 1 April 2020 as an essential service during the COVID-19 pandemic required him to reset his planned inspection programme. He conducted a series of targeted inspections to provide an independent assessment of how detention facilities, including aged care facilities, respond to COVID-19.
- OPCAT COVID-19 report: Report on inspections of aged care facilities under the Crimes of Torture Act 1989
These provide more information about why and how these inspections are conducted.
- Criteria for OPCAT COVID-19 inspections - pamphlet
- Criteria for OPCAT COVID-19 inspections
- OPCAT inspections and visits during COVID-19 pandemic – update and Statement of Principles
- OPCAT inspections during COVID-19 pandemic – update and Statement of Principles poster
- Parliament’s independent watchdog to inspect secure aged care facilities during COVID-19 pandemic
The Chief Ombudsman monitors aged care facilities to prevent human rights violations occurring. He isn't able to investigate individual complaints about private facilities.
If you want to report any concerns or make a complaint, you can find out how to do this on the Ministry of Health's website.