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Thursday, October 21, 2021

Yarra Ranges to out-source in-home aged care services

Yarra Ranges Council has endorsed a recommendation to formally transfer some of its in-home Commonwealth Home Support Program Services for aged residents to external service providers from June 2022.

The Council says it is considering its future role in the new aged care system in response to the Federal Government’s ongoing aged and disability reforms rollout.

At a meeting yesterday, Council has endorsed the recommendation that will see some of its in-home Commonwealth Home Support Program Services and its State-funded Home and Community Care Program for Younger People move to external providers.

As a result, the following services will be delivered by external providers from mid-2022:

  • Domestic Assistance;
  • Personal Care;
  • Respite Care;
  • Social Support for Individuals;
  • Home Modifications;
  • Property Maintenance (includes gutter cleaning and lawn mowing);
  • Home and Community Care for Younger People.

Council says clients currently receiving these services will be supported in their transition to new providers.

“The landscape of aged care services is rapidly shifting, with a new emphasis on choice and control for people receiving services,” said Yarra Ranges Mayor, Fiona McAllister.

“Reforming the aged care system will mean that people receiving services will have the right to choose between multiple approved providers while also enabling them to influence the services they receive as their needs change so they get the care that they want and need.

“Changes to State and Federal funding models would have left Council competing with other service providers – who will deliver high-quality, personalised care at a lower cost than Council.”

“Substantial reforms are coming, whether we like it or not. Making this change now means we will continue to offer some services, but we’ll also have a new service in Council – helping with Information and Navigation.

“This will allow us to continue supporting the community and offering an independent voice in a changed age care environment – we already do that well, and that role of advocacy and support is so needed.”

She said Council had the opportunity to play a different role in supporting all older residents in the community in areas that aligned to its strategic focus of keeping community healthy, active and socially connected, and working strategically to strengthen the aged care system across the municipality.

Council will continue to provide services including Meals on Wheels, transport, social support for groups and coordination of volunteer support activities, the Mayor said.

“There will be no reduction in service as a result of these changes, and we’ve been talking to our staff and clients over the last year to explain the proposed change and what it will mean for them.”

“We’re not positioned to step into a competitive market, so we’re doing the right thing by stepping out now, transitioning these services well and holding hands to make sure no one is left behind.”

Council’s Information and Navigation service will help connect community members with care providers and the information they need, including people accessing services for the first time or those whose needs have changed, while continuing advocacy for improved services from the State and Federal Government.

Community members with questions about the change are encouraged to call 1300 368 333 and speak to Council’s Age Care Reform Project Team.

For more information about the change, read the Council agenda for 24 August

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