The options paper

The Federal Government is calling for sector feedback on the future of aged care advocacy services as part of its review into the operation and delivery of the program.

The discussion paper, released last week, canvassed the development of a national framework to guide a consistent approach to aged care advocacy, as well as options for a new service structure.

The service options outlined include the creation of a single national, centralised aged care advocacy service with jurisdiction-based offices; the retention of the existing nine state and territory-based organisations, or the creation of smaller, regionally-based providers.

The paper said while regionally-based organisations may better respond to local need, it could create a loss of national consistency and possibly higher costs.

“Stakeholders also indicated that quality assurance, reporting and administrative processes may carry a higher relative burden for smaller providers with fewer staff,” said the document.

The implementation of an integrated advocacy program would enhance consistency and define advocacy service delivery across the aged care spectrum, the paper said.

The government currently funds individual advocacy services for consumers through the National Aged Care Advocacy Programme and the Commonwealth Home Support Programme. NACAP services are delivered by a single independent organisation in each state and territory, except in the Northern Territory where there are two NACAP providers.

The government said the review is being undertaken in the context of older Australians having greater choice about their aged care services.

Responses close 4 September.

For further information about the review and to provide feedback on the options paper click here

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