Date published: 
15 July 2020
Type: 
Newsletter
Intended Audience: 
Health sector

Today’s edition includes information on the use of masks in the community. We have also included links to resources on the department’s website relating to PPE usage.

There is another reminder about emergency funding support available to CHSP providers. The department recognises the increased pressure many CHSP providers are experiencing, particularly in Victoria.

The Aged Care Quality and Safety Commissioner has released a statement in response to the COVID-19 situation in Victoria.

Applications for the workforce retention bonus grant round have now been extended to 31 July 2020.

Providers and staff have until 24 July 2020 to complete the department’s communications survey. We value and appreciate your feedback.

Advice on use of masks and PPE

The Australian Government has recently published advice on when masks should be worn in the community.

The advice about wearing masks in the community has been the same since the pandemic began: it is not generally recommended. However, if you are in a region where community transmission is occurring, you should take extra precautions, in some circumstances.

If physical distancing is difficult to maintain, for example, on public transport, covering your face with a mask can provide some extra protection. You will still need to maintain all the regular protection measures.

Please inform your clients and care recipients about this guidance, as well as senior Australians who may be your friends, neighbours or family members.

This is separate to the advice for aged care workers in Victorian hotspots who are now required to wear face masks.

Further information on the use of personal protective equipment (PPE) including masks is available on the Department of Health’s website:

  • PPE video which provides a demonstration on how to appropriately use PPE
  • Resources for the health workforce on the use of PPE

Thank you to all providers and especially those in Victoria who continue to support our senior Australians, during this critical time. For those in Victoria who need assistance, contact the Australian Government Department of Health Victorian State Office on 1800 078 709.

Reminder: emergency CHSP COVID-19 funding

The Department of Health recognises the increased pressure many CHSP providers are experiencing, particularly in Victoria, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The department expects CHSP providers to use their 2020–21 base funding, the flexibility provisions and any unspent 2019–20 funding to continue to deliver safe entry level aged care services during this period. This includes the purchase of PPE, which must be used in accordance with government guidance.

To support providers during this period, the department has committed an additional $30.2 million in 2020–21 to help fund short-term support for CHSP service providers to continue delivering services to older Australians during the COVID-19 pandemic.

CHSP service providers who have fully allocated their 2020–21 base funding, and any unspent 2019–20 funds that have been carried forward, can apply for emergency COVID-19 funding to help:

  • maintain and expand direct service delivery to meet changing community demand due to COVID-19
  • retain key home support staff
  • purchase necessary PPE
  • cover the increased cost of safe and effective service delivery

The Grant Opportunity Guidelines for this emergency funding opportunity are available to download from GrantConnect. Providers who are eligible to apply for emergency funding in 2020–21, are encouraged to complete an application form, available by emailing CHSPprogram [at] health.gov.au, outlining how the additional funds will be used to meet the objectives and intended outcomes of the grant round.

For more information about this funding opportunity, please download and review a copy of the CHSP emergency funding fact sheet or contact your Community Grants Hub Funding Arrangement Manager.

Statement from the Commissioner on COVID-19 situation in Victoria

Aged Care Quality and Safety Commissioner Janet Anderson has issued a statement about the evolving COVID-19 situation in Victoria, and the commission's current activities in response.

The commission is closely monitoring the situation in Victoria and providing support to aged care services in managing the increased risks of a COVID-19 outbreak.

Workforce Retention Bonus Payment

The workforce retention payments are starting to flow to providers this week. Due to the large number of applications, the grant round has been extended and will close 31 July 2020, and payments will continue into August. The My Aged Care call centre is also undertaking a phone out campaign to remind providers to apply.

To ensure that applications can be processed promptly providers are reminded to include their provider ID and service ID on the Staffing Profile Spreadsheet supplied on the GrantConnect website.

All information regarding this grant opportunity can be found on the GrantConnect website. In addition we have Retention Bonus FAQs to assist providers and their employees.

Provider enquiries on the application may be submitted in writing to: grant.ATM [at] health.gov.au.

Resources

Coming soon

  • Provider perspective on outbreak management
  • Updated fact sheets