Protecting Older Australians: COVID-19 Update 4 June 2020

What’s new: Advice for CHSP providers on reporting flexibility provisions in the data exchange, release of the Australian National Disease Surveillance Plan, updates to the CDNA guidelines for Public Health Units and updated outbreak management training.

Date published:
Health sector

Today’s edition includes advice for Commonwealth Home Support Programme (CHSP) providers for reporting on services delivered under the flexibility provisions in the Data Exchange.

There is also information on the release of the Australian National Disease Surveillance Plan and updates to the Communicable Diseases Network Australia (CDNA) guidelines for Public Health Units.

We have also included an update on the online training resource for outbreak management.

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

Advice for CHSP Providers: reporting flexibility provisions in the Data Exchange

On 23 March 2020, the Department of Health relaxed the flexibility provisions for the CHSP in response to the emerging COVID-19 pandemic.

As part of this measure, CHSP providers funded to deliver Social Support Group, Centre Based Respite, Cottage Respite, Flexible Respite and Transport were given the opportunity to temporarily re-allocate their funds to support the delivery of activities normally associated with Social Support Individual (Web/Telephone Contact), Domestic Assistance (Unaccompanied Shopping) and Meals. More recently, the Department has agreed to allow CHSP providers with unspent 2019-20 funds to purchase personal and home monitoring devices for clients that would benefit from this service.

To improve reporting accuracy, the Data Exchange will be modified to enable CHSP providers who are normally only funded for services under the Care Relationship and Carer Support Subtype (i.e. respite providers) to also report instances of ‘Social Support Individual (Respite)’, ‘Domestic Assistance (Respite)’, ‘Meals (Respite)’ and ‘Goods, Equipment and Assistive Technology (Respite)’. These changes will help improve data quality, provider accountability and inform policy decisions around future priorities and funding allocation.

CHSP program specific guidance material will be updated and made available to service providers to assist them to understand the changes and new reporting requirements. If you have not already done so, you can subscribe to receive updates about the Data Exchange.

It is expected that these new service types will be available to use in the Data Exchange from 9 June 2020, and can be recorded against sessions from 1 January 2020 as applicable.

Release of the Australian National Disease Surveillance Plan

The Australian National Disease Surveillance Plan for COVID-19 forms part of the Australian Government’s Health Sector Emergency Response Plan for COVID-19. It is also a supporting plan to the Pandemic Health Intelligence Plan, a framework for how we collect the information required to support decision making about COVID-19.

The plan outlines the national approach for disease surveillance for COVID-19 - the ongoing, systematic collection, analysis and interpretation of health-related data. Information that is collected through this plan helps inform public health measures for control of COVID-19 in Australia.

Updates to the CDNA Guidelines for Public Health Units

The Communicable Diseases Network Australia (CDNA) guidelines for public health units have been updated to include a new section on outbreak investigation and management in high-risk settings, including residential aged care.

The purpose of the guidelines is to provide nationally consistent advice and guidance to public health units in responding to a notifiable disease event. These guidelines capture the knowledge of experienced professionals, built on past research efforts, and provide advice on best practice based upon the best available evidence.

Outbreak management training

The outbreak management training module for aged care workers has been updated in accordance with the latest information from the CDNA.

Aged care workers are encourage to complete this updated training.

The training takes approximately 8 minutes to complete, and by the end of the module participants will be able to:

  • identify what a COVID-19 outbreak is
  • demonstrate the appropriate infection prevention control measures for a COVID-19 outbreak
  • explain how to isolate and cohort residents during a COVID-19 outbreak
  • identify appropriate cleaning and waste disposal procedures during a COVID-19 outbreak

Access the Aged Care training modules.

If you would like to access the aged care training, users will need to register their workplaces as ‘aged care’. If you have already registered for online training but not with ‘aged care’ as your workplace, email for a priority response.


Coming soon

Articles on how to manage an outbreak from a providers perspective.

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