Media Release: Progress One Year On from the Aged Care Royal Commission’s Final Report
The Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety provided a unique opportunity to improve the quality, safety and choice in aged care for senior Australians. The media release issued by Minister for Health and Aged Care, Greg Hunt, and Minister for Senior Australians and Aged Care Services, Richard Colbeck, outlined a number of key changes made in response to the 148 recommendations in the Royal Commission. Key changes have included the creation of over 33,000 training places for people with an interest in working in aged care, 115 scholarships for nurses in aged care, a 25 per cent increase in access to home care packages and a 29 per cent decrease in waiting list times.
Home Care Package (HCP) Funds and Flood Damage
Care recipients are able to use their unspent HCP funds to support the clean-up of their home in a flood-affected area, where the costs are not already covered by insurance, state government emergency management services or funded under the Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payment. Providers can help to ensure this, as well as supporting care recipients to liaise with government and Services Australia if they request support with managing their personal affairs. For record keeping purposes, providers need to make sure that all requests are in line with the Inclusions and Exclusions framework of the Home Care Packages Program Manual. Additionally, My Aged Care can assist with access to basic food and groceries. Access to prepared meal services can be set up quickly for up to 8 weeks without the need for an aged care assessment if they are not already an existing client.
Home Care Packages Program Manual
Webinar: Aged Care Funding Reforms
On Friday 18 March, the Department of Health hosted a webinar for aged care executives, managers of finance, quality and assurance and residential aged care facilities. This webinar covered reform topics and updates such as: the Australian National Aged Care Classification (AN-ACC), including shadow assessments; quarterly reporting requirements; System for Payments of Aged Residential Care (SPARC) software replacement; and more.
Nominations Now Open: Re-Engaging Volunteers into Residential Aged Care Facilities Program
Nominations are now open for residential aged care facilities (RACFs) to attract volunteers to the workforce. As part of the Australian Government’s $5 million investment in supporting the safe return and re-engagement of volunteers, Volunteering Australia state and territory peak bodies will be providing training and onboarding, matching volunteers who can provide non-clinical social supports, companionship, administrative support, and so on. There are guidelines and requirements for both providers and volunteers, such as RACFs needing an onsite volunteer coordinator and volunteer insurance, and volunteers signing an agreement with the RACFs outlining responsibilities and roles.
March 2022 Updated Schedules and Maximum Permissible Interest Rate (MPIR) Increase