03 June 2015

Top three takeaways from the Future of Home & Community Care conference

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A recent The Future of Home and Community Care conference in Sydney, brought together experienced and passionate leaders from aged care providers across Australia. The two days were packed with informative presentations and robust discussion surrounding the practical impact of Commonwealth Home Support Programme (CHSP) reforms.

Here are our top three takeaways from the conference:

Investing in your workforce is critical

This was a prominent theme throughout the conference, with almost every presentation highlighting the importance of bringing all levels of staff along the evolution to ensure sustainability in the reformed HACC landscape. The role of staff maintaining face to face contact with consumers and the need to redesign contact roles was discussed at length; key questions were raise about the appropriate levels of investment into staff training to equip them for the new aged care landscape and support them through the journey.

A question from the floor highlighted the ongoing issue of broaching financial issues with clients, with delegates sharing their experiences to date. One delegate sharing her personal experience told the audience staff must be confident in handling financial discussions otherwise the organisation will come across to clients as ill prepared.

Daryl Sahli from Right at Home told delegates “a key foundation of the organisation’s service is providing a highly flexible and responsive service.” In order to consistently deliver on the promise of flexible and responsive service, aged care providers must navigate the casualization of the workforce. Ada Cheng, Chief Executive Officer of Australian Nursing Home Foundation Ltd also discussed the vital role care works play in generating an exchange of ideas and enthusiasm for improved practice.

Be transparent about where client money is going

The transition to person centred care across the aged care sector has provided clients with a mechanism to determine where their money is being spent. As a result clients are more in tune with where the financials of their care.  From a provider’s point of view, the conference heard that balancing continuity of care with cost of service provision is an important consideration under the CHSP reforms.

Carol Bain from Silver Chain provided a WA perspective on putting fee policy into action, telling the conference “…some staff found it difficult to accept clients contributing a portion of the cost of care.” Adding that training and support of staff will help CHSP providers prepare for changes.
The roundtable discussion at the end of the second day of the conference focussed on unit costings, with a number of comments being made about how to cost administration in particular.

Prepare for the impact of Regional Assessment Service (RAS) on your service provision

Ben Vincent and Michelle Roffey from the Department of Social Services opened the conference with an overview of reforms to date, with significant interest surrounding the My Aged Care Regional Assessment Service or ‘RAS’.

The face-to-face assessments for consumers accessing Commonwealth Home Support Programme (CHSP) services will commence from July 2015. The independent assessors will develop a support plan with consumers that identify their needs and goals, finally assessor will send referrals for services.

Key questions were raised from the floor including:

How to get continuity of care with RAS?

How will RAS affect service delivery? 

Q&A session with Ben Vincent and Michelle Roffey from the Department of Social Services 

Thank you to the speakers and attendees who joined us at the Future of Home and Community Care conference!

Having unfulfilled her childhood dream of becoming an international spy, Ellise is loving her position as Conference Production Manager at Akolade. Her favourite thing about the role is that it allows her to stay abreast of the latest news across a variety of industries while constantly learning from experts in their field. 

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