ZEST 2020 Digital Has Landed
ZEST 2020 has finally launched in a brand-new way. Western Sydney Community Forum with its partners, is delighted to present ZEST 2020 Digital which recognises and celebrates the extraordinary achievements of the communities and community sector of greater Western Sydney. Tune in to join our partners and special guests as we surprise our winners LIVE and hear their stories, reveal our highly commended awards, and recognise all our inspiring nominees.
2020-21 Federal Budget Aged Care Support
The 2020-21 Budget released on 6 October 2020 has included several measures to support the aged care sector. Investments included 23,000 additional home care packages available, and an additional $746 million in aged care COVID-19 response measures. The extra COVID-19 response funding will cover increased staffing costs and training as well as an extension to viability and residential care homeless supplement paid to providers. $408.5 million was also invested for future reform initiatives in response to the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety. This will cover dementia training, support for the Royal Commission and keeping young people out of residential aged care. A further increase in funding is anticipated in the next three years, from $23.9 billion as it stands currently to $27.1 billion in 2023-24.
Media Release – Grief and Trauma Support for Australia’s Aged Care Sector
Senator the Hon. Richard Colbeck has stated that part of the $171.5 million invested into a COVID-19 response plan for aged care support programs, which was announced in August, will be directed to providing a Grief and Trauma Response Package for the aged care sector. This package will offer direct support to aged care residents and their loved ones through areas such as advocacy assistance and counselling. It will also provide aged care staff with access to training including trauma-informed care and post-Covid-19 dementia support. Older Persons Advocacy Network (OPAN) has also received additional funding for continuing their advocacy information and referral support during COVID-19. Resources and support for this will also be made available in various languages as required.
My Aged Care Scam Alert
Clients and aged care workers are asked to be aware of a scam asking for payment to register to My Aged Care. This warning comes after a client in WA received a phone call from someone claiming to be from My Aged Care and asking for bank details and a fee of $25 to register them for My Aged Care, which is in fact free to register.
You can also hear about what you can do to prevent yourself from becoming a victim of online scams by watching one of the Cyber Business Uplift sessions that WSCF hosted earlier in the year.
Access to Aged Care Online Claiming Closing Soon
On 20 November 2020, Services Australia will be closing access to Aged Care Online Claiming and Aged Care Online Services and replacing it with the new Aged Care Provider Portal (ACPP). Services still using the old systems will need to finalise their last claims for September and October 2020 by this date before using the new system. Services using business-to-government (B2G) software will need to gain ACPP access, as well as any third-party software currently being used, to continue monitoring the status of submitted events and claims. Services Australia has made resources available to guide services through the process, including information on how to finalise claims in the ACPP, tips for aged are providers, and ACPP simulations.
Royal Commission Feedback Received on Aged Care Governance
The Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety received a number of submissions in June relating to the improvement of the aged care sector’s governance. Recommendations have included: the establishment of a National Aged Care Authority with various regulatory and fund distribution responsibilities; additional regional aged care planning including expansion of the role of Aged Care Assessment Teams; the appointment of a commissioner for older people; and a mix of diverse skills on aged care boards of residential aged care organisations.
Special Report Released by Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety
The Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety released a special report on 1 October 2020 with six recommendations for immediate action in the aged care sector, all of which were accepted by the Federal Government. This report is a result of the hearings held by the Royal Commission earlier in August 2020. The recommendations were: an implementation deadline for these recommendations; adequate funding to improve visiting and quality of life; the creation of Medicare Benefits Schedule items increasing allied health and mental health services for those in aged care homes; the development of a national COVID-19 aged care plan and advisory body; infection control expertise and personal protective equipment; and infection control training to be provided.
New COVID-19 Supplement
The Australian Government has paid a second COVID-19 supplement in October, worth $217.6 million, to support residential care service providers to assist with additional costs as a result of COVID-19 including costs for visitation arrangements for residents, infection prevention and control (IPC), and costs to cover additional staff. There are a number of specific requirements for receiving and using this second payment, which can be read in full in a letter from Senator the Hon Richard Colbeck.
Data Exchange System Updates
Ensuring CHSP providers are up to date with Data Exchange System information will help to ensure that reporting is done correctly. This is particularly important considering the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way in which organisations carry out appointments. “Service Settings” can be used by organisations on the Data Exchange System to indicate the location the session took place; for example, if it was held in the client’s residence, over the phone, and so one.
More information on this can be found here.
Also, any registered Data Exchange administrators or users can view report data after submitting, as they are updated the day after submission through following the links to the reports from the web-based portal. This will help to increase accuracy.
More information on this can be found here.
Updated NSW restrictions
There have been updates to the NSW restrictions for Residential Aged Care Providers and Home Care Services since 9 October 2020. These updates outline areas with increased testing such as Lakemba suburb, Liverpool and Camden, and areas and transport routes recently identified as hotspots.
Australian Human Rights Commission Launches Elder Abuse Campaign 1st October 2020
In line with International Day of Older Persons, the Australian Human Rights Commission launched an elder abuse awareness campaign on 1 October 2020. The focus of this campaign is to bring elder abuse to the forefront using a confronting video of older people talking about their experiences of abuse and the warning signs that surrounded it.
Ageing and Disability Commission 2019-2020 Dashboard Data Released
The Ageing and Disability Commission has released data relating to abuse, neglect and exploitation of older people and adults with disability in NSW. This kind of information is valuable in helping to build upon current knowledge of abuse, and can assist agencies in improving their services to older people and adults with disability. This data will be updated regularly with features being added for greater ease of access.