Older woman holding carer's hand

Leep NGO recently made a submission in response to the Department of Health Discussion Paper, “Future reform – an integrated care at home program to support older Australians”. Leep’s submission raises concerns about transparency in wait times, the implications of declining a Package and the need for a funded system of independent “navigators” to assist people to exercise their choice and control in choosing a Home Care Provider and understanding the associated cost structures.

Leep believes that resourcing volunteer management should be identified as a standalone policy objective of any future care at home program. Whilst volunteers give freely of their time and skills, volunteering is not a "free" resource. There is a need for volunteer recruitment and management within care at home programs to be adequately funded and resourced so that volunteer coordinators and managers can meet these challenges.

Leep also argues that people need to be able to access the supports they need through trusted sources, particularly where there are multiple barriers (for example, for people from CALD backgrounds, those with no supports, older people with mental health problems and people in insecure or no housing). There needs to be “a no wrong door” policy for these cohorts.

It is Leep’s view that the discussion paper is fairly short term in its focus and it does not adequately address the amalgamation of CHSP and HCP into a single system. It does not offer a clear direction on which to provide feedback. It also does not address the interaction between Health and Aged Care and skirts the issue of fees.

Investment is needed to create system that efficiently “joins up” disparate parts and protects the vulnerable while changes are being bedded down.

pdfView Leep NGO’s submission

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