The Australian Government Department of Health is currently delivering $17.7 billion in aged care reforms together with the aged care sector. Our vision is for aged care services to be accessible, high quality and to care for senior Australians with respect and dignity.
Consumer experience interviews will begin in early 2022 in residential care. We are seeking providers to help trial new quality indicators and there is a new workforce webinar, resources and training.
Please share this newsletter with your networks, and encourage them to subscribe.
You can also visit the Engagement Hub to get involved in the aged care reforms.
News about the reforms:
- New National Aged Care Advisory Council established
- Residential Consumer Experience Interviews to begin in early 2022
- Next Basic Daily Fee Supplement Report due 21 January 2022
- Get involved: Aged care services to pilot and test quality measures
- Reminder: Have your say in the development of Star Ratings for residential aged care
- Reminder: Have your say on new residential aged care design standards
- International Volunteer Day: Celebrating connections with senior Australians
- Webinar: Pacific Labour Scheme workforce for rural and remote providers
- Understanding diversity in the Aged Care Quality Standards
- Elder abuse e-Learning package
For residential care providers:
- Application date extended: Refundable Accommodation Deposit (RAD) Support Loans
- Have your say: Allied health engagement activities in aged care
- Information for providers using Services Australia’s Aged Care Online
For home care providers:
New National Aged Care Advisory Council established
The Australian Government has appointed 17 prominent Australians to the new National Aged Care Advisory Council.
Ms Andrea Coote has been named as the inaugural Chair.
These members will provide expert advice relating to the aged care sector and support the $17.7 billion reform agenda. This includes supporting implementation of the reforms, ensuring advice reflects the needs and expectations of senior Australians, their families and carers and the diverse needs of these groups. It will also provide expert advice on navigating aged care services and building the capability of providers and workforce to meet the changing requirements under the reforms.
Find out more on the department’s website.
Residential Consumer Experience Interviews to begin in early 2022
As highlighted by the Royal Commission, we need to hear from senior Australians receiving care to place them at the centre of the aged care system.
The department is reinstating Consumer Experience Interviews (CEIs) to allow senior Australians to share their experiences and give providers feedback to improve their delivery of care and services.
Interviews are expected to start in early 2022 and you can find further information on the department’s website.
Next Basic Daily Fee Supplement Report due 21 January 2022
The 2nd Basic Daily Fee Supplement Report, covering Food and Nutrition, is due by 11:59pm on 21 January 2022.
All residential aged care providers receiving the $10 basic daily fee have submitted their first reports, committing to the delivery of quality food and nutrition for their residents.
Remember to submit your report by the due date to continue receiving payments to support your residents. Back payments will not be made.
The form will be available in the Form Submission Portal on the My Aged Care service provider portal from 16 December 2021. Responding to your feedback, we have updated the explanatory notes to help you complete the report.
You will need administrator access to see the Form Submission Portal. If you have any issues, please call 1800 836 799, or if you have questions about the report email NutritionInAgedCare@health.gov.au
Get involved: Aged care services to pilot and test quality measures
The department is expanding the National Aged Care Mandatory Quality Indicator Program (QI Program) in residential aged care and developing quality indicators for in-home aged care.
A six-week pilot program testing the new quality measures will start in early 2022. We invite residential and in-home aged care services to register for these pilots.
To get involved, visit the Ageing and Aged Care Engagement Hub.
Reminder: Have your say in the development of Star Ratings for residential aged care
Star Ratings will help senior Australians make more informed choices about their aged care by providing meaningful information about the quality of services.
We invite you to have your say in developing Star Ratings. Written submissions close on 10 December 2021.
To get involved, visit the Ageing and Aged Care Engagement Hub.
For further information, please contact the University of Queensland project team assisting the department at firstname.lastname@example.org
Reminder: Have your say on new residential aged care design standards
We want to hear from you about how accommodation can best support the needs of senior Australians:
- what is important in the design of high-quality residential aged care accommodation
- what works well and what does not.
This initial step in the consultation will be followed by a range of activities specifically designed to consult with senior Australians, their families and carers early in 2022.
International Volunteer Day: Celebrating connections with senior Australians
Sunday 5 December marked this year’s International Volunteer Day, a time to celebrate and thank the millions of volunteers across the country who give their time to help and enrich lives.
A big shout-out to the over 10,300 volunteers working with our Community Visitors’ Scheme (CVS).
To find out more about the scheme, or register your interest as a volunteer or recipient, go to the department’s website.
You can also watch and share our social media video highlighting CVS volunteers around Australia.
Webinar: Pacific Labour Scheme workforce for rural and remote providers
The Australian Government acknowledges the workforce challenges aged care providers face in rural and remote areas. The Pacific Labour Scheme can help providers struggling to fill vacancies with local Australians, to access Pacific and Timorese aged care workers.
Providers in rural and remote Australia are invited to a webinar at: 2.00–3.30pm AEDT, Wednesday 15 December 2021.
Panel members and topics include:
- Department of Health – aged care workforce programs
- Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade – Scheme overview
- Pacific Labour Facility – how to access the Scheme
- Approved provider – experiences recruiting workers through the Scheme
- Q&As – opportunity to submit your questions
To register and learn more, visit the department’s website.
Understanding diversity in the Aged Care Quality Standards
Providing diversity training to people who work with senior Australians from diverse backgrounds is a part of the Shared actions to support all diverse older people. For more information, contact email@example.com.
Elder abuse e-Learning package
The Older Persons Advocacy Network (OPAN) has developed a free e-Learning package for aged care and health professionals, designed to identify and prevent elder abuse.
The e-Learning program gives approximately 10 hours of professional development over three modules. These hours can be used to apply to individual organisations for Continual Professional Development.
The program, initiated and championed by Aged Discrimination Commissioner Dr Kay Patterson, was launched on 30 June 2021. Search “abuse” via OPAN’s online learning hub to register.
Application date extended: Refundable Accommodation Deposit (RAD) Support Loans
The RAD Support Loan Program has now been extended until 30 June 2022.
The program supports residential aged care providers who are facing financial difficulties due to declining resident numbers and occupancy rates during the pandemic, and enables eligible providers to refund RADs on time.
The program extension means approved borrowers can access loan funds until 30 September 2022 (with quarterly repayments from 1 October 2022 to September 2024).
Have your say: Allied health engagement activities in aged care
The department is currently undertaking three projects to find out more about allied health access in aged care:
- A survey has been distributed to CEOs of residential aged care providers to explore how to avoid unnecessary hospitalisations of residents. This HealthConsult survey will inform the multidisciplinary outreach model project that is exploring options for integrating best practice care.
- An allied health workforce data gap analysis is being undertaken by Health Policy Analysis. The project will inform allied health workforce planning and ultimately improve access to care. Providers will be contacted in early 2022 and invited to participate in the project.
- A national survey in early 2022 will seek feedback on the temporary allied health programs introduced in residential aged care services in response to COVID‑19. The department is being supported by Nous Group to undertake the survey.
You can find more information in the latest Chief Allied Health Officer newsletter.
Information for providers using Services Australia’s Aged Care Online
Residential aged care providers using Services Australia’s Aged Care Online must upgrade to web services before 13 March 2022.
To upgrade, you need:
- web services compatible Business to Government (B2G) software
- a Provider Digital Access (PRODA) Organisation account for authentication
- a completed AC027 form to set up your device for Aged Care web services.
If you don’t upgrade to web services before 13 March 2022, you may need to revert to either the Aged Care Provider Portal or a manual process.
Contact your software developer now to discuss transition plans for your site.
For more information, visit the Services Australia website.
Home Care Packages Program Data Report (1st Quarter 2021-22) now available
The department has released the Home Care Packages Program Data Report for 1 July to 30 September 2021 (1st Quarter 2021‑22).
The report shows the number of people accessing a home care package grew to 204,146 by 30 September 2021 – an increase of over 41,000 older Australians in 12 months. The number of people waiting for their approved home care package also dropped by 25 per cent from 30 September 2020 to 30 September 2021.
See more data from the report on the AIHW GEN aged care data website.