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CHSP Service Provider Covid-19 guidance

Published

In light of the increased level of COVID infections across all states and territories, DoH published advice for providers. Please read below:

All services should continue where they can be delivered safely in accordance with state/territory social distancing and infection control requirements during the COVID-19 pandemic. CHSP providers should discuss any concerns regarding the delivery of CHSP services during this period with their clients, in light of their COVID Safe Plan arrangements. Providers are encouraged to offer assurance that they are undertaking all the appropriate measures to ensure the safety of both clients and staff. This may need to include a discussion with the CHSP client’s family or carers regarding rescheduling appointments, temporarily substituting care staff or reducing the frequency of the service for a short period. CHSP providers should ensure their COVID Safe Plans are up to date to reflect the current environment.

Should providers have concerns regarding the wellbeing of their clients they can support the individual to contact the Older Person’s COVID-19 Support Line which can provide help, support and mental health resources to older Australians (1800 171 866).

The Commonwealth Department of Health expects all essential aged care services to continue during this period where it is safe to do so. For the purposes of the CHSP, essential services include:

  • Meals (delivered to the home only);
  • Transport (e.g. trips to essential medical appointments);
  • Domestic Assistance (general house cleaning, delivery of groceries and other essential shopping);
  • Nursing;
  • Personal Care;
  • Home Maintenance (e.g. gardening and repairs to ensure health, safety and security of the premises or clients)
  • Home Modifications (to ensure the health and safety of clients)
  • Goods, Equipment and Assistive Technology (to ensure the health and safety of clients)
  • Allied Health and Therapy Services (e.g. physiotherapy, podiatry, occupational therapy etc);
  • Social Support (phone and online-based services only).

Essential services can be provided to senior Australians who have not been assessed for services for up to eight weeks where there is an urgent need.  All clients should be registered on My Aged Care following this eight week period where they require ongoing services.

All CHSP service providers should have their COVID Safe Plans up to date and cover events/risks which could impact on staff shortage from positive cases. If a service is dramatically affected and has to cease services, this should be covered in their Activity Continuity Plan and could include measures such as:

  • seeking assistance from other organisations located in close proximity that have capacity to take on clients;
  • advising clients and their families of the situation; and
  • advising Funding Arrangement Managers that services are affected.

All service providers are reminded that flexibility provisions have been relaxed to enable providers to re-allocate up to 100 per cent of their grant funding between their funded activities and aged care planning regions to help meet targeted demand for essential services, retain and expand key workforce and cover the cost of personal protective equipment (PPE). Service providers that require additional financial support during this period are encouraged to apply for additional funding through the CHSP Emergency Support for COVID-19 Ad Hoc Funding Round. A copy of the Grant Opportunity Guidelines for this funding round can be found on GrantConnect. Note flexibility provisions must be fully utilised before applying for additional funding through the CHSP Emergency Support for COVID-19 funding round.

Information and advice on the correct use of PPE in an aged care context can be found on the Department’s website including:

  • General resources for the health workforce on the correct use of PPE;
  • COVID-19 guidelines for infection prevention and control in residential aged care homes; and
  • Online COVID-19 infection control training.

 Additional training modules specifically designed for an aged care context (including advice on identifying a COVID-19 outbreak, using PPE and implementing infection control and appropriate cleaning and waste disposal measures) are also available. Note providers will need to register before accessing this training.

CHSP service providers must use their own supply of masks and other PPE first and may then contact to request extra supply as needed. All requests for PPE, including masks, will be assessed on a case by case basis. If your request is successful, your State Government will issue you with additional PPE.  Advice regarding PPE for Aged Care settings is available at Aged Care PPE Request - Australian Government Department of Health - Citizen Space.

For more information about emergency provisions and support available to CHSP providers during the COVID-19 pandemic, please carefully review the fact sheets published on the Department’s website including:

 



Source:
Department of Health, 2022

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