What is the program?

Transition care provides short-term care for older people to help them recover after a hospital stay.

Transition care can last up to 12 weeks and take place in:

  • an aged care (nursing) home
  • a person’s home
  • the community
  • a mix of all of these.

If you’re an older person and want to find out more, go to transition care (after a hospital stay) on the My Aged Care website.

Why is the program important?

We know that many older people want to stay in their own home as they age.

Because of this, we want to help older people:

  • avoid the need for longer-term care
  • delay moving to an aged care home for as long as possible.

Helping them to get back on their feet after a hospital stay is one way to do this.

Did you know that:

  • at 1 November 2019, we provided 4,100 transition care places nationally
  • in 2018–19, a total of 24,432 people received transition care
  • on average, transition care lasts for 61 days.

What services does the program provide?

The program provides different kinds of care and support, such as:

  • low-intensity therapy including allied health services (physiotherapy, podiatry, social work and occupational therapy)
  • nursing support
  • personal care.

Who is eligible?

A person must get an assessment with an Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT). They may be eligible if they’re an older person and:

  • a patient in a public or private hospital
  • have been told that they’re ready to leave hospital
  • would benefit from receiving services for a short period of time.

If eligible, they must enter transition care as soon as they leave the hospital.

Who provides the services?

State and territory governments are the approved providers of transition care. They:

  • partner with service providers (non-government organisations) to provide transition care services
  • manage the delivery of transition care services.

If your organisation is interested in providing transition care under this program, contact your state or territory government.

How does the program work?


Transition Care Programme Guidelines

These guidelines are for state and territory governments (as the approved providers of transition care) and service providers. The guidelines explain how services should be provided, the responsibilities of approved providers and the aged care principles that govern the program.

Extensions to transition care

Service providers can request an extension of up to 42 days.

You must apply within the first 12 weeks of transition care. You will need to:

  • complete Part 1 of the Transition Care Extension Form
  • ask the care recipient or their representative to sign the declaration
  • give the form to ACAT for assessment.

How is the program funded?

The Australian Government provides funding through flexible care subsidies. The Government pays these to state and territory governments as the approved providers.

The state and territory governments, as the approved providers, must provide a
co-contribution. They can do this through:

  • in-kind contributions
  • direct funding to the contracted services or sub-contracted services.

Service providers can also request fees from care recipients, if they can afford to contribute to the cost of their care.

For details on the subsidy amount, read Part 3 – Amount of flexible care subsidy – transition care in Chapter 4 of the Aged Care (Subsidy, Fees and Payments) Determination 2014.

Who oversees the program?

The Australian Government develops program policy and allocates transition care places to state and territory governments.

State and territory governments are responsible for:

  • implementing the program
  • deciding on the best way to meet local service needs and individual care needs.

In 2018, the Minister for Senior Australians and Aged Care asked the Department of Health to review the program.

The review showed that the program plays an effective and important role where Australia’s health and aged care systems meet. It has supported the early discharge of older people from hospital and can help delay their entry into residential care.

To find out more, read the Transition Care Programme Review and the Government’s Response to the TCP Review

Additional places due to COVID-19

In April 2020, the Australian Government created additional transition care places for all states and territories, with the exception of Western Australia. This was in response to increased demand due to the COVID-19 pandemic. These 120 places are time-limited until 30 June 2022.

The West Australian Government received additional transition care places in 2019 through a previous Budget measure and indicated they did not need additional places at this time.

View the Ministerial Determination creating these places under subsection 12-3(1) of the Aged Care Act 1997.


Transition and innovative care contact

Email us if you have questions about the Transition Care Programme or the Innovative Care Programme.

RCS.Enquiries [at] health.gov.au

View contact

Last updated: 
16 October 2020