CHSP ‘drip feed’ not good enough, says peak

The government has announced a pot of money for Commonwealth Home Support, but providers say the drip feed needs to stop.

Australia’s 1,500 Commonwealth Home Support Program providers can apply for a $150 million funding pool that the government says will provide support to 18,000 people over the next 12 months.

Applicants in areas where there is high demand will be given priority.

Providers have welcomed the funding but have described it as “drip feed” that will do little to tackle the growing national Home Care Package queue.

But Minister for Aged Care and Senior Australians Richard Colbeck says the government is committed to helping seniors remain in their own homes for longer.

“The grants will expand entry-level aged care and encourage greater choice for seniors across Australia,” Mr Colbeck said in a statement.

“Maximising independence and autonomy is a key objective of the CHSP, to help people maintain a good quality of life as they get older.”

The government announced in this year’s federal budget that it would provide $5.9 billion from 2020-21 to extend CHSP arrangements. Almost 850,000 Australians are currently receiving support through the progam.

Aged and Community Services Australia (ACSA) says the funds will help older Australians stay at home but won’t do anything to reduce the number of people waiting for a home care package.

“These funds are welcome and will help thousands of Australians live at home for longer but it’s nowhere near enough to end waiting lists for the different home care programs,” ACSA CEO Patricia Sparrow said.

“Of course, providers and older Australians are always appreciative of additional investment, but the drip feed will need to end at some point. Australia is unprepared for some very big challenges that are just around the corner as our population ages.”

The latest government figures show that at the end of March almost 130,000 people were waiting for their allocated home care package. ACSA says 40,000 additional level 3 and 4 Home Care Packages are required to avoid people going to hospital or entering residential care prematurely.

“What’s required isn’t just about more money – the entire community needs to get involved in planning for their own ageing and also our ageing population,” Ms Sparrow said.

Information on applying for funding is available here

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3 thoughts on “CHSP ‘drip feed’ not good enough, says peak

  1. CHSP is blocked everywhere right now with no providers having any capacity throughout much of our heartlands for well over 18 months.

    CHSP is being used as a bandaid for those unable to secure a package, and with the HCP growing by the quarter – there is not enough movement ‘OFF’ CHSP ‘ON’ to HCP to get both cogs of the wheel moving again.

    I receive phone calls daily from those recently assessed for CHSP after being told by MyAgedCare to simply call providers knowing full well that there is no capacity.

    And for the most part – many will not choose private services in the meantime.

    What a system!

  2. I totally agree with Anon’s comments. No growth funding for the Mid North Coast or Far North Coast of NSW even though every week, for years now, I receive calls from people approved for CHSP who have rung every Provider looking for CHSP Domestic Assistance and have been told “Sorry we can’t help.”
    Despite this, RAS Assessors are sent out daily to approve even more people for a program which clearly cannot help them because it is massively over subscribed..
    At least with a Home Care Package there is some honesty and transparency in the system. People are told they will have to wait on the “National Queue” and they can even get an estimated wait time. (Though the “12+ months” wait category is a deliberate attempt to hide the reality of what can be a 3 or 4 year wait for a Level 3 or 4 Package).
    It is unclear whether the RAS Assessors just don’t know what happens next, or whether they simply don’t care because they get paid anyway – but they are still out there assessing, and approving people, for CHSP Domestic Assistance services when the Providers who were funded for those services are turning away all callers.

  3. Its a very problematic system and has been from the beginning. Strangely enough the feedback from the industry in 2013 when consultations happened with providers that this system just would not work as not enough was being invested. one suggestion that we made was get rid of entry level, they usually only need cleaning and some social support. Many of those on entry level accepted services just to become a part of the the system. However, the Government ignored us as they always do and now we have this system. The same system based on the UK system that there is now a class action against the government for.
    If the government truly want people to stay in their homes and not go into care the easiest thing to do is set up a service for people on pensions to have access to low cost, private cleaners, its cheaper and cuts out the middle man, where most of the funding is sucked up. Social support is vital granted but we have had a system in place that works for many years and does not cost as much as one on one social support. Through block funding many organisations have provided group social support for a very long time at a fraction of the cost of individual social support and funding. Yes it doesn’t suit everyone but since when have beggars ever been choosers so to speak. By that I mean we all have to use what we have access to and nothing special is provided when what we want doesn’t suit. This is a case of majority rules!

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