Press Release: Department of Health: 1 April 2021
This newsletter provides important information on matters affecting the aged care sector, including aged care initiatives, programs and processes. We encourage you to share this newsletter with your colleagues and workforce, particularly your communications teams, and encourage them to subscribe for future updates.
In addition to the newsletter, we also send announcements which provide short snippets of targeted information and are sent as required. To help ensure you haven’t missed any important information from us, we’ve added links to recent announcements including all COVID-19 updates.
In this issue:
- New resource: Top 10 questions for Forgotten Australians/Care Leavers to ask when looking for residential aged care
- Diversity Training Series – upcoming free webinars
- New campaign to boost employment in the aged care sector
- Change to MPIR from 1 April 2021
- New financial hardship assistance form
- CHSP Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Respite Services Grant Opportunity 2020-2022
- Home Care Packages Program Data Report 2nd Quarter 2020-21
Announcements since the last newsletter:
- March 2021 indexation: Updated schedules and quarterly review
- QI Program data elements from 1 July 2021 – summary now published
- Reminder: IPC lead training and reporting
- Free education program to help improve dementia care
- Report released – Role of lump sum accommodation payments in the residential aged care sector
- SIRS tile now available via the My Aged Care Provider Portal
- AN-ACC – Shadow Assessments to Commence in April 2021
The department has also distributed these ‘Protecting Older Australians’ and ‘COVID-19 vaccine’ updates:
New resource: Top 10 questions for Forgotten Australians/Care Leavers to ask when looking for residential aged care
More than half a million children were placed in institutional and out of home care arrangements last century. They may be known as Care Leavers, Forgotten Australians, Former Child Migrants or Stolen Generations. Many in this group experienced control, abuse, and their basic rights taken from them. They may have significant anxieties about entering aged care.
This new brochure is designed to help Forgotten Australians/Care Leavers ask the right questions to determine that their needs are going to be met.
It is important for aged care staff to be familiar with the questions in this brochure, as they may need to answer these questions in the future.
Seeking out tools and information such as this brochure, to support respectful and inclusive care, is a recommended action in Outcome 4 of the Action plan to support all diverse people – a guide for aged care providers.
Effective use of this brochure may also help you demonstrate Standard 2 of the Aged Care Quality Standards “consumers partner in their ongoing assessment and planning to help them get the care they need”. This brochure could be given to a person who has been identified as a Forgotten Australian/Care Leaver during your initial and ongoing assessment processes.
Providers are also encouraged to consider making this brochure accessible to new clients.
For more information, including additional resources, visit the:
Diversity Training Series – upcoming free webinars
The Centre for Cultural Diversity in Ageing will run eight new webinars as part of its 2021 Diversity Training Series. The webinars have been developed in response to the recently completed Diversity Training Survey and cover a range of topics to help your services provide consumer-centred care that addresses the diversity of aged care recipients, consistent with the final report of the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety. The webinars are designed for staff and leaders in aged care services.
The free webinars are being facilitated by diversity experts from across Australia and are scheduled as follows:
- Working Effectively with Interpreters in Aged Care – 6 April
- Accessing Culturally Appropriate Resources for your Consumers – 27 April
- Using Translations to Connect with Culturally Diverse Audiences in Aged Care – 11 May
- Applying a Diversity Lens to Dementia Care – 1 June
- Cross Cultural Communication – 17 June
- Creating Inclusive Organisations – 14 July
- Linking Inclusive Practice to Aged Care Quality Standards – 4 August
- Applying a Diversity Lens to Consumer-centred Care – 15 September
Register your interest for upcoming webinars on the Centre for Cultural Diversity in Ageing website.
New campaign to boost employment in the aged care sector
The Aged Care Workforce Industry Council recently launched a new campaign “Bring your Thing” to encourage people to take up employment in the aged care sector. The campaign aims to change people’s perceptions of ageing. It also aims to encourage those looking to begin their career, to transition from their current career and for those whose employment has been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, to consider aged care.
Aged care providers are encouraged to share the campaign video online with their networks.
You can read more about the campaign via Senator Colbeck’s media release.
Change to MPIR from 1 April 2021
The maximum permissible interest rate (MPIR) will decrease to 4.01% for the period from 1 April to 30 June 2021 for calculating:
- accommodation prices
- interest on refunds of accommodation lump sum balances
The current MPIR is listed in the Schedules of Fees and Charges for:
- Residential and home care recipients who started care on or after 1 July 2014
- Residential and home care recipients who started care before 1 July 2014
View current and past rates of the MPIR.
New financial hardship assistance form
A new Aged Care Claim for financial hardship assistance form is now available.
Services Australia has combined the home care and residential care financial hardship forms into one. Changes include:
- improved layout
- fewer and clearer evidence requirements
- fewer questions
- simplified terminology.
Please dispose of any copies of these forms:
- Financial hardship assistance for Residential Aged Care (SA461)
- Financial hardship assistance for Home Care and Residential Respite Care (SA462).
Please direct customers to the new form on the Services Australia website.
Customers can claim for financial hardship assistance if they:
- have completed a calculation of their cost of care
- have assets valued less than the current threshold
- haven’t made gifts over the limits
- for home care, started receiving care on or after 1 July 2014.
Serious Incident Response Scheme begins today
The Serious Incident Response Scheme (SIRS) has now commenced. From today, residential aged care providers must report all ‘Priority 1’ incidents within 24 hours using the new SIRS tile on the My Aged Care Provider Portal. A guide to support providers in using the new tile is available on the department’s website.
Providers must also have in place an effective incident management system to manage incidents and take reasonable steps to prevent future incidents from reoccurring. The focus is on the safety, health, well-being and quality of life of aged care consumers. This includes both incident management and reportable incident obligations.
For further information and support materials visit the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission’s website.
CHSP Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Respite Services Grant Opportunity 2020-2022
The department recently undertook a targeted growth funding round for the Commonwealth Home Support Programme (CHSP) aimed at expanding tailored centre based respite services for older Australians from multicultural backgrounds. The department has now committed an additional $19.34 million over two years to 40 organisations operating in 43 Aged Care Planning Regions.
CHSP centre based respite services are designed to help ease isolation and encourage social interactions through social group activities, excursions and meals. This additional funding will help support older Australians from Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) backgrounds to remain living safely and independently in their own homes and communities and provide respite for their carers.
The additional funding for CHSP CALD respite services will be allocated to providers over the coming months. More information about successful applicants will soon be published on the GrantConnect website.
Home Care Packages Program Data Report 2nd Quarter 2020‑21
The department has released the Home Care Packages Program Data Report covering the period from 1 October to 31 December 2020.
The report is available from the AIHW GEN aged care data website.