Ageing and Disability Commissioner appointed
On 29 June it was announced that Robert Fitzgerald has been appointed the state’s first ageing and disability commissioner to investigate allegations of abuse, neglect and exploitation in both the aged and disability sectors commencing 1 July. Commissioner Fitzgerald is a former Australian Council of Social Service president and served on the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sex Abuse from 2013 to 2017. He has also worked on the federal productivity commission and headed inquiries into Australia’s aged care sector, the gambling sector and paid parental leave.
On 20 June the NSW parliament passed legislation giving the commissioner powers to compel information from individuals or organisations and seize evidence as part of investigations. The Commissioner’s office will also provide support to victims and administer the official community visitors program. The Aged and Disability Commission’s website and helpline have now been launched. With responsibility for the Elder Abuse Helpline & Resource Unit moving to the Commissioner the helpline number remains 1800 628 221.
New Aged Care Standards
With the new Aged Care Quality Standards coming into effect on 1 July, service providers should have already received printed copies. This document also includes information and resources designed to assist organisations with the transition to the new standards. More information can be accessed here.
Also from 1 July, the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission commenced assessing and monitoring service providers against these new Quality Standards. You can now complete the Self-Assessment Tool to determine whether your organisation complies with these new Standards.
You can also download the Standards resources, including a chatterbox, here to assist you with the transition.
NAIDOC week 2019
NAIDOC week 2019 is being held between 7 and 14 July and this year’s theme of VOICE. TREATY. TRUTH. were key elements of the Uluru Statement from the Heart. You can help celebrate the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people by getting involved in local activities. Find out what’s happening in Western Sydney in this month’s Upcoming Events.
Charter of Aged Care Rights
As of 1 July, the Charter of Aged Care Rights apply to new consumers in all aged care programs. For existing consumers in residential care and short-term restorative care in a residential care setting, service providers have until 30 September 2019 to complete the transition. The new requirements must be completed for existing consumers in home care and short-term restorative care in a home care setting by 31 December 2019.
The Older Persons Advocacy Network (OPAN) has developed a range of webinars to walk providers and consumers through the new Charter.
Nation Wide NDIS Commission
Despite New South Wales and South Australia having the NDIS Commission operating since 1 July 2018, other states have yet to implement the program. As of 1 July 2019, the Australian Capital Territory, Northern Territory, Queensland, Tasmania and Victoria will begin the rollout. Western Australia is due to commence on 1 July 2020.
You can check each state’s NDIS Commission national rollout on the map here.
Innovative Suicide Prevention Research
The Australian Government has committed to investing $400,000 in four separate innovative research grants. These grants aim to find new ways to protect people at risk of suicide and interventions to prevent suicide.
NHMRC National Institute for Dementia Research (NNIDR) 2019 Strategic Roadmap
On 13 June, the Minister for Aged Care and Senior Australians, Senator the Hon Richard Colbeck, launched the National Health and Medical Research Council’s National Institute for Dementia Research (NNIDR) 2019 Strategic Roadmap for Dementia Research and Translation at the Australian Dementia Forum in Hobart. High priorities identified in the plan includes the introduction of new and less invasive methods for early diagnosis of dementia within Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.
CHSP providers with grandfathered clients
All CHSP providers that have grandfathered CHSP clients who are not yet registered on My Aged Care are required to provide information on these clients to the Department of Health for the purpose of creating a client record. This is a requirement in the CHSP Program Manual 2018. The data collected from grandfathered clients will be used to create a My Aged Care client record for these clients without an assessment being undertaken. If a CHSP provider has any difficulties with completing the template, they should email the Department of Health’s CHSP Policy inbox: CHSPProgram@health.gov.au
CHSP Entry Level Services
The Department of Health has announced in late May that “it is not expected that CHSP providers give above entry-level services. The $8,000 per annum is provided as a guide only.” The most significant factor for CHSP service providers to consider is whether the client needs a coordinated package of care rather a case management to manage their services.
The Forecasting Future Outcomes report
The Forecasting Future Outcomes report was recently released by the NSW Government and presents findings from the first modelling undertaken on the Their Futures Matter Human Services Data Set. The report aims to define groups of vulnerable children and young people and identify the areas of greatest needs. Highlighted throughout the report are the poor social outcomes and high government service and support costs required to address the needs of the groups identified.