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Information for the Aged Care Sector Issue 2021/12

Published

New My Aged Care Welcome Pack

From 28 June 2021, personalised Welcome Packs will be mailed to new clients and/or representatives after registering with My Aged Care.

The Welcome Pack includes:

  • a personalised welcome letter with information about the journey so far and what will happen next
  • a plastic-coated card that is detachable from the letter containing their Aged Care ID
  • a brochure with general information on the My Aged Care journey
  • a My Aged Care fridge magnet
  • information on translation and interpreter services.

 

Updates to the My Aged Care website – June 2021

The My Aged Care website continues to be updated based on feedback from users and industry. In June 2021 some significant enhancements were made aimed at improving the user experience.

These updates included:

  • New My guide to aged care tool. This new interactive tool allows older Australians and their carers to create and save a step-by-step guide to accessing aged care. People will need to answer a few simple questions about the type of care they need to generate the tailored guide.
  • Improved My Aged Care Representatives content. The new page aims to better explain the role and types of representatives and how to appoint them. It is also interactive – users can filter information based on whether they would like to appoint a representative or become a representative.
  • Ability to search for multiple services at once in the Find a provider tool. Until now, people have only been able to search for one service type at a time when researching help at home providers. Users can now select as many services as they need, when searching for help at home, Commonwealth Home Support Programme (CHSP) and short-term care services.
  • Enhanced search ‘results cards’ and details pages in the Find a provider tool. To support users searching for multiple services, each result card now highlights how many of the services they searched are offered by each provider. Availability information has also been removed from CHSP search result cards. Users will still be able to view the availability of services and service sub-types on provider details pages. This change ensures users can access clear and accurate availability information and we encourage providers to keep this information up to date.
  • Reducing duplicate CHSP search results in the Find a provider tool. This change reduces the number of results cards displayed for CHSP providers – without deleting information or outlets from the My Aged Care Provider Portal – by displaying only one result card per unique ‘Outlet ID' for a service.

Read more about the changes on the My Aged Care website.

 

Aged care reform webinars in July focus on diversity and dementia

The department is holding a series of interactive webinars to share information about the aged care reforms announced in the 2021 Federal Budget, in response to the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety.

The scheduled webinars for July will cover:

  • access to culturally safe services and the accessibility of and outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in aged care – guest panellist to be confirmed
  • quality of life and care for people living with dementia – with guest panellist Maree McCabe, CEO of Dementia Australia
  • accessibility of and outcomes for people from Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) backgrounds receiving aged care services – with guest panellist Mary Patetsos, Chair of the Federation of Ethnic Community Councils of Australia (FECCA).

Find out more and register for these webinars on the department’s website.

Thousands of people participated in our June webinars that covered residential aged care, information and communication technology (ICT) and home care. If you missed these webinars you can go to the department’s website and access the recordings in the ‘Previous webinars’ section.

 

New resource to support Forgotten Australians/Care Leavers

More than half a million children were placed in institutional and out of home care arrangements last century. They may be known as Care Leavers, Forgotten Australians, Former Child Migrants or Stolen Generations. Approximately 440,000 were non-Indigenous children called the Forgotten Australians; 50,000 were Indigenous children, some from the Stolen Generations; and up to 10,000 were former child migrants from Britain, Ireland and Malta. Many in this group experienced control, abuse, and had their basic rights taken from them. They may have significant anxieties about entering aged care.

This new ’About ME’ brochure offers practical tips for aged care providers to support their clients who may be Forgotten Australians/Care Leavers, to develop their individual person-centred About ME document. It also has examples of how people who identify as Forgotten Australians have created the document to describe themselves and the care they need.

It is important for aged care staff to be familiar with this brochure, and how to use it to be able to support the needs of any consumers identifying as Forgotten Australians and Care Leavers.

Seeking out tools and information such as this brochure, to support respectful and inclusive care, is a recommended action in Outcome 4 of the Action plan to support all diverse people – a guide for aged care providers.

Effective use of this resource may also help you demonstrate Standard 2 of the Aged Care Quality Standards ”consumers partner in their ongoing assessment and planning to help them get the care they need”. This brochure could be used with a person who has been identified as a Forgotten Australian/Care Leaver during initial and ongoing assessment processes.

For more information or advice on using the brochure, including additional resources:

 

2022 Australian of the Year Award nominations

We’re sure you know some amazing Australians – and now it’s time to nominate them for a 2022 Australian of the Year Award. One nomination is all it takes for someone to be considered for an award in one of four categories:

  • Australian of the Year
  • Senior Australian of the Year
  • Young Australian of the Year
  • Australia’s Local Hero

The department is a proud sponsor of the Senior Australian of the Year award. Senior Australians continue to play an important role in our communities. They work to keep our volunteering and community-based organisations viable and provide valuable mentoring to our younger generations.

Nominations for the 2022 awards close on 31 July 2021.

 

Services Australia is upgrading its digital health and aged care channels

From 13 March 2022, aged care providers will need web services compatible Business to Government software to access aged care channels.

If you use the Aged Care Provider Portal and don’t use software to transmit data to Services Australia, these upgrades won’t affect you.

Services Australia is also upgrading its authentication model to Provider Digital Access (PRODA).

Upgrading to web services ensures that data systems:

  • meet current technology and security standards
  • secure patient and provider information now and into the future
  • are flexible and easy to update and improve.

What you need to do:

  1. Contact your software developer now to find out when their web services software will be available.
  2. Visit servicesaustralia.gov.au/PRODA to register as an organisation using PRODA. This will enable you to do your electronic business with the agency securely.

For more information visit the Services Australia website.

 

Collect five new Quality Indicators from 1 July 2021

The QI Program now requires approved providers of residential aged care to collect and report on five quality indicators. This is in line with the Aged Care Legislation Amendment (Quality Indicator Program) Principles 2021.

The first quarter of data collection for the new quality indicators has already begun (1 July‑30 September 2021). The first quarter of data must be submitted in the 1‑21 October 2021 reporting period.

A range of guidance materials, including the QI Program Manual 2.0 – Part A, are available on the department’s website. The Manual includes the updated physical restraint quality indicator, aligning with new restrictive practice legislation in the Aged Care Legislation Amendment (Royal Commission Response No. 1) Principles 2021.

The final quarter of data collection for the previous quality indicators was 1 April to 30 June 2021, with data submission due by 21 July 2021.

For QI Program assistance, contact the My Aged Care provider and assessor helpline on 1800 836 799.

 

New legislation on use of restrictive practices

New restrictive practices legislation strengthening and clarifying obligations for residential aged care providers began on 1 July 2021.

The legislative amendments:

  • clearly define restraint and mirror the definitions of restrictive practices and the five types of restraint applied under the disability arrangements
  • strengthen consent arrangements and provide greater clarity on who is authorised to provide consent
  • ensure that restrictive practices are used only as a last resort following employment of alternative behaviour support strategies.

Guidance is available to support providers to meet their legislative obligations for the use of restrictive practices, including:

Further information is available on the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission’s website.

 

Forecast Grant Opportunity – Home Care Workforce Support Program

The Home Care Workforce Support Program will assist aged care providers, with a focus on home care, to grow their workforce by approximately 13,000 new personal care workers.

Grant recipients will be required to work with aged care providers in their jurisdiction to assist them to attract, train and retain new personal care workers. Activities they could undertake or fund using the grant includes the following:

  • screening candidates for suitability
  • providing mentoring or support services and communities of practice to new workers
  • promoting work placements for students undertaking aged care training.
  • upskilling existing staff to help them supervise students and new staff
  • helping providers to attract and keep staff.

Draft grant opportunity guidelines are now available as a forecast opportunity on GrantConnect. This will provide interested parties enough time to prepare an application.

Nine grants will be available via an open grants process, including:

  • one for each state or territory (with NSW and ACT combined)
  • two for regional and remote communities.

We recognise the importance of partnerships and local solutions to address workforce needs. As such, there are a range of eligible organisations who can apply for funding under this grant opportunity, including from the aged care, training and employment sectors. Joint (consortia) applications are welcome.

The application period will open once the Grant Opportunity Guidelines are finalised, this is expected by the end of July 2021.

Further information about the grant opportunity is available on the GrantConnect website.

 

Home Care Packages Program Data Report 3rd Quarter 2020-21

The department has released the Home Care Packages Program Data Report covering the period from 1 January to 31 March 2021.

The report is available from the AIHW GEN aged care data website.



Source:
Unknown Author, 2021, Department of Health (https://www.health.gov.au/)

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