Five pillars to support aged care reform
This outline of our reforms shows how we will deliver services within a 5-year period, across 5 key pillars. The reforms put senior Australians and their individual needs front and centre, partnering with the aged care sector and workforce.
Senior Australians want to remain independent and in control, living at home and connected to their community.
The government is providing $7.5 billion to enable:
- 80,000 more Home Care Packages
- increased support for informal and family carers
- support for senior Australians to find the aged care services they need
- increased Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission checks
- pricing transparency to ensure value for money.
The Government will develop a new support at home program.
Funding will boost residential respite services and early referrals to Carer Gateway services. Respite will also be improved through care planning for people living with dementia, residential facility training and early intervention assistance.
The My Aged Care website and contact centre will continue to be a key entry point and source of information for services and supports. People navigating the aged care system will also gain help from face-to-face aged care specialists and Community Care Finders.
Residential aged care services and sustainability
Around 204,000 senior Australians live in residential aged care each year. The Australian Government will invest $3.9 billion over the next four years to increase front line care.
From 1 July 2021, a new government basic daily fee supplement of $10 per resident per day will give immediate support with provider reports on record daily services, such as food, nutrition, linen and cleaning.
A new funding model for residential aged care will enable transparency, and independent assessors will resolve fairer aged care support for all residents. The Australian National Aged Care Classification (AN-ACC) model will distribute funds based on the needs of the resident and the costs of providing that care. Respite care funding will align to the AN-ACC model.
Additional funding will support face-to-face care for each resident. Providers will be monitored and will be required to produce regular reporting to:
- inform star rating for comparison between care facilities
- give a monthly care statement on resident’s care, changes or events
- monitor mandatory care time and staffing minutes to increase clinical care.
A competitive market will assist service choice, the Government will invest $102.1 million to:
- allocate residential care packages to consumers
- create new financial and prudential monitoring, compliance and interventions
- support providers to improve their operations
- support eligible providers to receive free, independent and confidential business advice.
The Government will also invest $49.1 million to install an independent process to gain advice on aged care pricing issues.
Residential aged care quality and safety
Reform activities will strengthen the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission to further protect senior Australians. The Australian Government will invest $231.9 million to:
- enable the commission to do 1,500 more site audits
- enforce regulation of physical and chemical restraint use
- expand the Serious Incident Response Scheme into home care
- increase funding for the Dementia Behaviour Management Advisory Service and the Severe Behaviour Response Teams
- give specialist dementia training to aged care providers.
A new star rating system will highlight the quality of aged care services providing informed decision-making for senior Australians, their families, friends and carers.
Investment in independent advocacy will support greater choice and quality safeguards, funding will also assist providers to understand the diversity of the community and barriers to accessing aged care.
The government will improve primary care support between aged care and health care systems with $365.7 million to:
- boost the Aged Care Access Incentive and increase GP face-to-face care
- expand the Greater Choice for At Home Palliative Care Pilot
- better support Primary Health Networks (PHNs) telehealth services and help health practitioners to care for vulnerable patients
- produce better data and evidence for workforce planning
- improve medication management in residential care.
The Australian Government is growing the home care workforce by 18,000 new personal care workers. $135.6 million will provide additional financial support and incentives for registered nurses.
A single assessment workforce will do all assessments, facilitating quality, consistency and experience.
To grow and upskill the workforce, the government will invest to:
- increase places in the Aged Care Transition to Practice Program and Aged Care Nursing Scholarship Program
- fund 33,800 training places more personal care workers to gain a Certificate III in Individual Support (Ageing)
- give palliative care and dementia training to workers.
An expanded Rural Locum Assistance Program will ensure continuity of clinical care and leadership, and increase a surge workforce in rural and regional areas.
$105.6 million will improve regulation and worker screening arrangements; government investment will help to attract the right workers to the sector.
A new consumer-focused Aged Care Act will underpin these generational reforms.
The Australian Government will invest $30.1 million to support aged care providers to improve their governance and meet stronger legislative obligations. Reviewed Aged Care Quality Standards and an Assistant Commissioner for Sector Capability and Education will improve corporate and clinical government capability.
$13.4 million will be used to create a local network of Department of Health aged care staff, ensuring national planning is informed by local issues and needs.
A new Inspector-General of Aged Care will provide independent oversight, and older people will have a voice through the Council of Elders. A new National Aged Care Advisory Council will support reforms development and offer expert advice to government.