Date published: 
26 May 2020
Type: 
Newsletter
Intended Audience: 
Health sector

Today the Australian Government announced it is investing $57.2 million to improve palliative care in aged care facilities across Australia. The funding is designed to help reduce physical and emotional distress for individuals and their families.

This edition also provides an update on when face-to-face aged care assessments can be conducted by Aged Care Assessment Teams (ACAT) and Regional Assessment Services (RAS).

Also available is a recently released fact sheet from the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission on the new Industry Code for Visiting Residential Aged Care Homes during COVID-19, as well as two new videos produced by the Department of Health - one on the COVIDSafe app and the other on Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).

As always, many thanks to you and your teams for your continued support to protect older Australians.

Government to Invest $57 Million to Improve Palliative Care

Today the Australian Government announced it is investing $57.2 million to improve palliative care in aged care facilities across Australia.

Minister for Aged Care and Senior Australians and Minister for Youth and Sport, Senator Richard Colbeck said the funding will help reduce the physical and emotional distress for individuals who require palliative care and their families.

It is expected the injection of funds will be matched by State and Territories, with South Australia, the ACT and the Northern Territory governments already signed up.

It comes ahead of National Palliative Care Week across Australia which runs 24 to 30 May 2020.

Read the full announcement.

More information about National Palliative Care Week is available from Palliative Care Australia.

Update on Conducting Face to Face Aged Care Assessments 

From 22 May 2020, telephone and telehealth assessments no longer need to be the default for community-based aged care assessments.

Regional Assessment Services (RAS) and Aged Care Assessment Teams (ACATs) will continue to consider their local circumstances and client choice when deciding how to conduct aged care assessments. Face-to-face assessments should be offered where it is possible and safe. RAS and ACATs will have protocols in place to return to telephone assessments should a local outbreak occur.

Aged care assessors will explain any timing constraints on face-to-face assessments to clients and discuss immediate care needs over the phone so clients can be supported to seek services. This will minimise any potential risks to the health and safety of clients while they wait for their face-to-face assessment.

Fact Sheet on Industry Code for Visiting Residential Aged Care

The Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission has released a new fact sheet on the Industry Code for Visiting Residential Aged Care Homes during COVID-19.

The fact sheet provides further explanation of the new Code, including how it complements the existing regulatory framework.

The Code sets out the aged care industry’s expectations on how to support residents receiving visitors while also keeping them safe and protected during the COVID-19 pandemic.

You can download the fact sheet.

Translated versions of the Industry Code for Visiting Residential Aged Care Homes during COVID-19 are being made available on the department’s website - 18 language translations will be available.

Resources

Coming Soon

  • Information on how testing works in residential aged care facilities
  • Older person’s campaign update