HDC welcomes appointment of first Aged Care Commissioner

Health and Disability Commissioner Morag McDowell welcomes the appointment of Carolyn Cooper into the role of Aged Care Commissioner.

“The appointment of a dedicated Aged Care Commissioner is an excellent opportunity to elevate HDC’s work to promote and protect the rights of people receiving aged care services,” said Morag McDowell.

“I am delighted Carolyn Cooper has been appointed as Aged Care Commissioner – she has a wealth of health sector experience which will enable her to be a strong advocate for older people.

“On behalf of the HDC team, we look forward to having Carolyn join us.”

Carolyn has broad experience across the health sector in New Zealand and Australia, including executive leadership roles in District Health Boards, and clinical leadership in aged care, rehabilitation and general services. She began her health career as a registered general and obstetrics nurse.

“It is an honour to be appointed Aotearoa’s first Aged Care Commissioner,” said Carolyn Cooper.

“I’m committed to advocating on behalf of older people and their whānau, so they have greater confidence in the quality of their lives and care.

“My experience spans front line nursing, clinical governance and senior leadership positions in the public and private health sectors. In all areas I have strived to make a tangible difference through collaboration and initiating quality improvements. I will bring an optimistic and pragmatic approach to the challenges this sector faces.

“In whatever health care sector role I have held both here and across the Tasman, fairness and doing the right thing have always been central to my approach. These are values that I hold dear and that I will bring into my role as Aged Care Commissioner.

“I look forward to working with the Health and Disability Commissioner to drive quality improvement, and encourage collaboration and positive change across the sector,” she said.

The Health and Disability Commissioner (HDC) is the independent watchdog for consumers’ rights in the health and disability sector.

The Aged Care Commissioner will be located in HDC to provide leadership and promote systemic change and improvements across the entire sector as well as being a recognisable figure for investigating complaints.