A $25 M program designd to improve access to complex health care services for aged care recipients
The Australian Government is building a better, fairer and more nationally consistent aged care system. The Intensive Aged Care Program gives priority to providing more support and care in the home, better access to residential care, more support for those with dementia and strengthening of the aged care workforce. They have been progressively implemented from 1 July 2012 to give early benefits to consumers and providers but also to ensure there is a smooth transition for consumers and providers and sufficient time to adapt and plan ahead for further reform.
The Intensive Aged Care Program’s objectives are to:
- develop innovative models to build better health care connections between existing health and aged care services, that are cost effective and improve the way the aged care system works within the broader health system;
- improve access to complex health care services for aged care recipients;
- increase awareness and information on successful models amongst aged care and health care service providers; and
- diversify the aged care sector to include more complex community and residential health care services for aged care recipients.
The Government is providing $25 million (including indexation) under the Program to support initiatives to encourage aged care providers to work with public and private health care providers and medical insurers to deliver short term, more intensive health care services. This will result in improved access to complex health care, including palliative and psycho- geriatric care. The Government is providing this funding over five years from 2012-13 to 2016-17 for seed grants to develop innovative models of health care services for aged care recipients.
It is intended that operational aged care providers will undertake a number of tasks including:
- as a primary role, develop models to build partnerships and innovative ways of working to join up the range of short term, more intensive health care services within a local area/region from which aged care recipients may need assistance;
- undertake all establishment phase activities and be ready to start accepting aged care recipients for the short term, more intensive health care services; and
- develop promotional material to encourage the uptake of practice within the aged care sector in the long term.
Short term, more intensive health care services, such as palliative and psycho-geriatric care, may be provided to aged care recipients through:
- in-reach subacute care services provided by accredited hospitals in residential and community settings; and
- a broader range of more flexible and complex health care services provided in aged care homes and the community.
The health care services may range from hospital subacute services (those only provided by accredited hospitals) to a small number of simple interventions provided in aged care homes which potentially reduce unnecessary transfers to hospital.
The provision of short term, more intensive health care in aged care homes will considerably enhance the flexibility of aged care delivery in residential settings and assist providers in delivering a wider range of such service offerings, and diversify their client and revenue base. For example, psychogeriatric services may include health care services for dementia and mild to moderate mental health, such as anxiety and depression.
It is important that additional health care services build on what older people can do rather than what they cannot do, such as enablement, re-ablement or restorative aged care. For example, better and more innovative connections can be made with directly related specific programs such as Transition Care and Day Therapy Centres and the palliative care innovative advisory services which provide access to specialist palliative care and advanced care planning expertise.
The Department is seeking applications from interested operational aged care providers that have the capacity to best implement the Program.
To be eligible for seed grants, applicants must be an approved provider of residential or community aged care with at least one operational service. Applications will not be accepted from non-operational aged care providers.
Favourable consideration will be given to operational aged care providers who form collaborations, consortia or partnerships with public and private health care providers and/or other organisations as required or as necessary to meet the selection criteria and health care needs of specific aged care recipients.
Joined-up or multi-regional approaches with an operational aged care provider as the lead organisation will also be considered if it can be demonstrated that such an approach is a more effective and efficient way to deliver short term, more intensive health care services to aged care recipients.
Where the application is a joint application with one or more other organisations, an operational aged care provider with at least one operational service must be identified as the lead organisation and an authorised representative of the lead organisation must sign the application.
Applications close 21 December 2012.
Writing a good quality grant application is a critical element in the application process. An application needs to be well thought through, written concisely, have clear objectives and purpose, and show clear links to the objectives of the grant guidelines.
The grant application must answer all questions, provide all required information and respond to the merit criteria. It should also reflect your organisation’s business strategy.
Writing a good application takes time and effort, and requires particular writing skills.
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