Protecting older Australians: COVID-19 update 5 May 2020

What’s new: Clarification around emergency CHSP COVID-19 funding, consultation open on Aged Care Visitor Access Code, rescheduled webinar alert, and the COVIDSafe app.

Date published:
Health sector

Today’s newsletter provides some clarification for providers around the $70.2 million in emergency CHSP funding currently being made available. CHSP service providers are being reminded that they must have exhausted the option to reallocate base funding through the relaxed flexibility provisions before applying for this emergency funding.

Providers are also being reminded that consultation on the Aged Care Visitor Access Code will be open until Thursday. OPAN, COTA, Dementia Australia and National Seniors Australia are holding a special webinar to consult on the draft Access Code.

A webinar on COVID-19 outbreak preparedness and management has been rescheduled to this Friday 8 May.

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

Clarification around emergency CHSP COVID-19 funding

The Government has committed $70.2 million to help fund short-term support for CHSP service providers to continue delivering services to older Australians during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Grant Opportunity Guidelines for this emergency funding opportunity are available to download from GrantConnect.

Before applying for emergency funding, CHSP service providers must have exhausted the option to reallocate base funding through the relaxed flexibility provisions. The flexibility provisions allow CHSP service providers to re-distribute their existing base funding across all of the service types and aged care planning regions identified in their grant agreement and activity work plan in 2019–20 and 2020–21. Providers should not be applying for additional funds if they expect underspends in other services.

For providers who are eligible to apply for emergency funding, you must complete an application form outlining how you will use the additional funds to meet the aims and objectives of the program. To allow the Department sufficient time to assess and process applications for funding in the 2019–20 financial year, all applications for this year must be completed and submitted to no later than COB 1 June 2020.

The Department will continue to accept applications for emergency funding after 1 June 2020, however funding for successful applications received after this point may not be made available until financial year 2020–21.

For more information about this funding opportunity, please download and review a copy of the Grant Opportunity Guidelines or contact your Funding Arrangement Manager.

Consultation open on Aged Care Visitor Access Code

A Visitor Access Code to ensure a nationally consistent visitation policy to residential aged care homes during the COVID-19 crisis will be open for consultation until Thursday 7 May.

Read the draft code and find out more about the consultation process so you can have your say.

OPAN, COTA, Dementia Australia and National Seniors Australia are holding a special webinar to consult on the draft of the new Aged Care Access Code. The webinar will be held this Wednesday, 6 May from 1pm to 2pm AEST.

Panellists will include; Craig Gear (CEO OPAN), Ian Yates (CEO COTA Australia), Maree McCabe (CEO Dementia Australia) and John McCallum (CEO National Seniors Australia).

You can register for the webinar here.

Rescheduled webinar – Friday 8 May

A webinar will be held on Friday 8 May from 4.00pm to 5.00pm AEST on residential aged care COVID-19 outbreak preparedness and management.

The webinar will cover what residential aged care facilities should be doing in preparation for a potential COVID-19 outbreak, what to do if there is an outbreak, as well as the support available to services in the event of a COVID-19 case.

The webinar panel will include; Michael Lye (Deputy Secretary), Alison McMillan (Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officer), Lisa Peterson (State Manager NSW), Janet Anderson (the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commissioner), and a member of the Aspen Medical team.

The discussion will be moderated by Amy Laffan, Acting First Assistant Secretary, Aged Care Reform and Compliance Division. There will be an opportunity for Q and A following a discussion from the panel members.

The webinar will be broadcast from the Department of Education, Skills and Employment

COVIDSafe app

The new COVIDSafe app launched on Sunday, 26 April and more than 4.5 million Australians have already downloaded and registered for it.

The new COVIDSafe app is voluntary and a simple step that we can each take to help protect ourselves, family, friends and our community. The more Australians connect to the COVIDSafe app, the quicker we can find the virus and stop the spread.

The app helps state and territory health officials to more rapidly contact people who may have been exposed to COVID-19.

The COVIDSafe app speeds up the current manual process of finding people who have been in close contact with someone with COVID-19. This means you’ll be contacted more quickly if you are at risk. This reduces the chances of you passing on the virus to your family, friends and other people in the community and ensures you get the advice and care you need.

State and territory health officials can only access app information if someone tests positive and agrees to the information in their phone being uploaded. The health officials can only use the app information to help alert those who may need to quarantine or get tested.

The COVIDSafe app is the only contact trace app approved by the Australian Government.

More information about the COVIDSafe app, how it works and privacy safeguards in place can be found on the department’s website.

If you or need assistance downloading or using the app you can call the National Coronavirus Helpline on 1800 020 080.


Coming soon

  • More information on accessing the COVID-19 aged care support grant
  • Advice for workers who work at multiple aged care facilities

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