Nationally co-ordinated advocacy services get closer
AGED care consumer advocacy services are moving towards a nationally consistent model as the result of the Federal Government calling for service provider submissions and releasing an updated draft delivery framework.
The government announced it has up to $25.7 million to spend from July 1, 2017, to June 30, 2020, through a single national provider or state-based provider of advocacy services.
It is now calling for submissions from potential service providers.
The draft National Aged Care Advocacy Framework, first released in late 2016, has been modified as result of the Department of Health receiving 33 stakeholder submissions.
While the framework has been updated, it remains in draft for the time being as it has been identified that there are still "a range of issues that require more consideration and consultation...”.
The National Aged Care Advocacy Program is currently delivered by nine community-based NACAP organisations; one in each state and territory, and two in the Northern Territory.
These organisations provide information and support to older people or potential consumers of Home Care Packages and residential aged care services, their carers and families, about their rights and responsibilities when accessing services.
A key outcome of last year's review of the current system recognised the need to:
- support NACAP providers to achieve a nationally consistent approach to supporting consumers, their families and representatives to exercise informed choice about the aged care services they want and need; and
- encourage a flexible, tailored approach to the delivery of aged care advocacy services. This ensures that localised needs can be met and so that older people with diverse needs and people from at risk populations can be appropriately supported.
The government is looking to achieve a free, independent and confidential advocacy service which will help older Australians to access and better use the aged care system through giving them choices and control in a "consumer driven, market-based” aged care system.
The Department of Health said the final delivery framework is due to be published in mid-2017.