Information for the Aged Care Sector Issue 2021/14

What's new: Get involved in Aged Care Transition to Practice, Veterans in residential aged care – accessing aids and equipment, New national provider of Goods, Equipment and Assistive Technology under the CHSP and more.

Date published:
Health sector

Get involved in Aged Care Transition to Practice

The Australian Government is funding Aged and Community Services Australia (ACSA), the Australian College of Nursing (ACN) and the University of Wollongong consortia (which includes the University of Canberra and Leading Age Services Australia) to run Aged Care Transition to Practice programs.

These programs aim to help recently graduated nurses adjust to new professional roles. This initiative seeks to attract and retain new nurses to aged care, and ensure they have the right clinical skills for the job.

The programs:

  • offer nurses specialist clinical training and professional development through mentorship
  • support providers to employ and upskill graduate nurses
  • boost the appeal of a career in aged care for new nurses, giving providers a wider pool of talented graduates to hire.

To be eligible, graduate nurses must be in their first year of clinical practice and not have participated in a Transition to Practice program before. Programs run for between six and 12 months.

To participate in the program, or to find out more information, contact the program suppliers at:

Veterans in residential aged care – accessing aids and equipment

Veteran Gold Card holders in residential aged care homes can access the Rehabilitation Appliances Program (RAP) through the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA). Veteran White Card holders may also be able to access the RAP while in residential aged care homes. Eligibility depends on the level of care the veteran is receiving (as identified through their ACFI) and their assessed clinical needs.

For veterans receiving a higher level of care, aged care homes will provide the necessary non-customised aids and equipment. These cannot be duplicated by DVA. However, veterans may be eligible for customised personal equipment through the RAP to meet assessed clinical needs, e.g. a customised wheelchair.

Veterans receiving a lower level of care may be able to access RAP aids and equipment based on their assessed clinical needs. See the Aged Care Eligibility Matrix on the DVA website.

To assess a veteran’s clinical needs, aged care staff need to book an appointment with a doctor, occupational therapist, physiotherapist or registered nurse. If eligible, the veteran will be prescribed an item through the RAP. It may be helpful to involve the veteran’s Ex‑Service organisation as they can help you understand the veteran’s needs, eligibility and processes for obtaining aids and equipment.

Veterans living in the community may already have equipment provided to them under the RAP. When transitioning into an aged care home, you will need to discuss which items they will need to bring with them. If any RAP items are taken into an aged care home, DVA will continue to fund their repairs. DVA will not repair aids and equipment provided by the aged care home.

More ways to provide safe, inclusive and respectful care to veterans are included in the shared actions to support all diverse older people. Ensuring that consumers are partners in the ongoing assessment and planning for their care and services is central to Standard 2 in the Aged Care Quality Standards.

New national provider of Goods, Equipment and Assistive Technology under the CHSP

To expand the availability of Goods, Equipment and Assistive Technology (GEAT) services to older Australians, the department has engaged Indigo Australasia to deliver GEAT services Australia wide under the Commonwealth Home Support Programme (CHSP).

Indigo will supply, install and maintain a full range of GEAT to clients anywhere in Australia and will be available in all Aged Care Planning Regions. The additional service will operate alongside current GEAT providers and under the same requirements for all CHSP service providers.

It is not intended that the new national provider will replace GEAT services used by current CHSP providers in a client’s service area. The aim is to:

  • close GEAT service gaps and meet increased demand
  • reduce wait times for clients (where an Occupational Therapist assessment is not required)
  • give clients more choice when sourcing GEAT services.

From 16 August 2021, aged care assessors will be able to select Australian GEAT2GO (Indigo) as a GEAT provider in all regions of Australia when sourcing GEAT under the CHSP for their clients. Australian GEAT2GO has been created to uniquely differentiate the national GEAT provision from services currently provided by Indigo.

For further information on how the national CHSP GEAT provider will operate, you can read the FAQs on the department’s website.

CHSP 2022–23 Extension Working Group

The Commonwealth Home Support Programme (CHSP) 2022-23 Extension Working Group was established in late June 2021 to provide advice and guidance to the department on matters affecting CHSP providers and reforms to payment arrangements, ahead of the extension of the CHSP from 30 June 2022 to 30 June 2023.

The Working Group will work with the department on the design of the 2022‑23 extension of CHSP, as part of the CHSP transitioning to a single unified aged care model from 2023. This process aims to ensure providers can maintain services and viability during the transition from grant funding to payment in arrears.

The department received over 400 expressions of interest to be involved in the Group’s work to prepare for future changes to CHSP grant arrangements.

Working Group membership includes representatives from all states and territories, each of the CHSP service types, profit/not for profit, government, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, multicultural, rural/remote, large, and small CHSP providers and sector peaks. A list of Working Group members can be found on the department’s website.

The Working Group held its first meeting on 5 July 2021 and will meet again in August 2021.

Visit the department’s website to keep up to date with progress of payment in arrears and other CHSP extension reforms.


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