Ready for lift off

Yarrawonga Chronicle - - Front Page -

In what is be­lieved to be an Aus­tralian first, 18 health ser­vices from across the re­gion in­clud­ing Yar­ra­wonga Health have united for the sus­tain­abil­ity of lo­cally gov­erned home care (aged care at home) for se­nior mem­bers of the com­mu­nity.

Fol­low­ing the 2015 Com­mon­wealth Home Care fund­ing re­forms, re­sult­ing in a new open mar­ket­place for home care providers, many smaller health ser­vices found it chal­leng­ing to con­tinue pro­vid­ing home care.

A con­sor­tium ar­range­ment be­tween the health ser­vices, now guar­an­tees each mem­ber’s abil­ity to con­tinue pro­vid­ing home care to their com­mu­ni­ties.

Yar­ra­wonga Health CEO, Elaine Mal­lows said she was pleased with the pro­gram al­low­ing older peo­ple to stay liv­ing at home but also be­ing able to ac­cess care.

“Home Care Pack­ages ben­e­fit older Aus­tralians in our re­gion by as­sist­ing them to live ac­tively in the com­mu­nity and in their own home, as long as they are able to and while sup­port­ing them as their needs change and grow,” Ms Mal­lows said.

“The con­sor­tium ar­range­ment guar­an­tees that older peo­ple within our com­mu­nity will al­ways have ac­cess to home care via their lo­cal provider, whom they recog­nise and trust and the con­sor­tium al­liance pro­vides the as­sur­ance that the lo­cal com­mu­nity will al­ways have ac­cess to home care from a lo­cal provider.

“More and more older Aus­tralians are want­ing to re­main liv­ing in their own homes for as long as pos­si­ble. Home care pack­ages en­able them to do just that,’

To date, 18 health ser­vices from north­ern and cen­tral Vic­to­ria and south­ern New South Wales have joined the con­sor­tium col­lec­tively branded ‘Com­mu­nity In­ter­link’.

“Ba­si­cally we wanted to en­sure that se­nior mem­bers of our com­mu­ni­ties would al­ways have ac­cess to Home Care ser­vices from a lo­cally gov­erned provider,” said Com­mu­nity In- ter­link Gov­er­nance Group mem­ber, Gor­don Ross.

“Lo­cal providers are those that can of­fer the high­est level of sup­port hav­ing lo­cal staff, with lo­cal knowl­edge and net­works.”

Com­mu­nity In­ter­link mem­bers in­clude: Yar­ra­wonga Health, North­east Health Wan­garatta, Gate­way Health, GV Health, Beech­worth Health Ser­vice, Euroa Health, Nathalia Health, Nu­murkah District Health Ser­vice, Be­nalla Health, Sey­mour Health, Mans­field District Hospi­tal, Indigo North Health, Yea & District Memo­rial Hospi­tal, Al­bury Wodonga Health, Tal­lan­gatta Health Ser­vice, Nexus Pri­mary Health, Alexan­dra District Hospi­tal and Kil­more & District Hospi­tal.

Com­mu­nity In­ter­link Gov­er­nance Group Chair Suzanne Miller said the con­sor­tium would now sup­port ap­prox­i­mately 300 home care clients re­gion­ally, with care co­or­di­nated via staff em­ployed at the var­i­ous health ser­vices.

“When we re­ceived news of the home care re­forms, re­gional health ser­vices had con­cerns re­gard­ing the po­ten­tial level of de­tach­ment with the lo­cal pub­lic health ser­vices that could re­sult,” Ms Miller said.

“Af­ter the com­pet­i­tive mar­ket­place was launched, in some small re­gional ar­eas there were sud­denly dozens of new home care providers who had lit­tle or no con­nec­tion to the com­mu­nity con­cerned or the cur­rent health sec­tor.

“The pri­mary goal of the con­sor­tium is to build on a shared phi­los­o­phy and com­mit­ment to sup­port­ing lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties via lo­cal health ser­vices and the fo­cus is to build on the ser­vices’ ca­pac­ity and track record of sus­tain­able sup­port to peo­ple at the point of need.

“It will work to­wards build­ing the ca­pac­ity of mem­ber agen­cies to de­liver di­rect care and co­or­di­nated care from their own em­ployed staff, and to open up new con­tract­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties and con­sol­i­date ex­ist­ing rev­enue streams, pro­mot­ing joint work­ing and en­cour- ag­ing or­ga­ni­za­tional learn­ing and de­vel­op­ment.

“The con­sor­tium model has great po­ten­tial to sup­port lo­cal peo­ple across the range of avail­able Com­mon­wealth Home Sup­port Pro­grams and NDIS into the fu­ture. This will en­sure our fan­tas­tic range of pub­lic health ser­vices stay con­nected to their com­mu­ni­ties in this rapid time of so­cial re­form.”

Com­mu­nity In­ter­link Gov­er­nance Group mem­ber Gor­dan Ross, CEO Yar­ra­wonga Health Elaine Mal­lows and Nexus Pri­mary Health Suzanne Miller about to lift off with the home care re­form.

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