Just 43 per cent of Regional Assessment Service (RAS) assessors said they were satisfied with the quality and accuracy of the information they received from the My Aged Care contact centre, a national evaluation of My Aged Care has found.

While RAS organisations reported feeling well supported to conduct assessments, they said unreliable client information and inappropriate referrals hampered their work.

29 per cent of RAS assessors reported feeling very or fairly dissatisfied with the information received from the contact centre.

The evaluation commissioned by the federal health department and Healthdirect Australia was conducted between January and April 2016, and involved a national survey of 138 RAS assessors.

The quality of client information and referrals was also an issue for many service providers – primary criticisms included receiving referrals for services they did not deliver, referrals for clients outside their service area and referrals with important information omitted about the client’s needs or conditions.

Around two in five providers said they were happy with the quality and accuracy of information supplied by the contact centre (41 per cent). They pointed to a lack of specialist knowledge among contact centre staff as a chief concern.

Only 19 per cent of ACAT assessors said they were satisfied with the information they received.

The majority of consumers and carers, however, rated their experience of the contact centre and website much more positively (76 per cent of recipients and 65 per cent of carers said they were satisfied with the contact centre).

“These strong results were largely due to the perceived helpfulness of the contact centre staff, and appreciation of direct personal contact in accessing services,” the evaluation said.

Experience of special needs clients

According to the evaluation, culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) consumers were less likely than non-CALD consumers to say the services they received matched the content of their support plan.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders (ATSI) also expressed a clear desire to interact with ATSI services and staff as much as possible.

Just 10 per cent of RAS assessors thought that consumers could find information on prices and fees easily.

Read the evaluation in full here.

See related AAA story My Aged Care hampering service delivery: evaluation

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