Changes to Aged and Disability Services

25 November 2021 Update

At the 24 November 2021 Council Meeting, Baw Baw Shire Council made the difficult but prudent decision to cease the delivery of meals services, home maintenance, home modifications, social support groups and volunteer programs as of 30 June 2022.

This decision, combined with earlier decisions to exit direct care services, means that all of Council’s current aged and disability services programs will be transitioned to delivery by other providers from 1 July 2022.

Why is this happening?

In 2018 a Royal Commission was established to investigate the quality and safety of aged care in Australia.  In response to the findings of that Royal Commission, the Commonwealth Government have begun significant reforms to the Aged Care sector across the country.

The reforms aim for a consistent and affordable national program, with a suite of aged care services that will provide streamlined, customer driven care.

The changes being implemented will have a significant impact on funding models and local government’s suitability for delivering these kinds of services.

However, Council remains committed to ensuring people receive the services required to support their wellbeing, and that they remain connected to the wider Baw Baw Shire community.

To aid a smooth transition for clients, Council has recently completed a research project that identified high quality service providers in the area that are capable of providing a wide range of aged care services.

The information from this research project has been provided to the Commonwealth Government to assist them in selecting the best providers to meet the requirements of the Baw Baw Shire community. 

If Council doesn’t deliver aged care services what will they do to support older people?

The reformed aged care sector is shifting Council’s role from delivery to one of supporting, advocating and planning to make sure older people continue to receive support that enables their independence and involvement in the community.

Council is investigating the role it can perform in relation to:

  • Assisting individual clients with making informed decision
  • Strengthening support for positive ageing as well as social inclusion

What happens to the service I currently receive?

Nothing right now. Council will continue to provide the service until 30 June 2022, after which a new organisation will take over.

Council will contact existing clients closer to the time, once we understand who the Commonwealth Government have appointed as the new service providers.

We will help clients through this process to make sure they continue to receive the support they need.

Do I need to do anything?

No. We will contact you and support you to understand the available choices. When the time comes, we will help you to transition your service to a new provider.

Hasn’t Council already made a decision regarding Aged and Disability Services?

In response to the Commonwealth Government’s restructuring of the aged care sector and the State Government’s position on the community care system, Council decided in March 2020 and September 2021 to cease providing the following services from 30 June 2022.

Commonwealth Home Support Program (Over 65’s)

  • Domestic assistance (includes unescorted shopping support)
  • Personal Care (includes escorted shopping support)
  • Respite Care
  • Home and Community Care Program for Younger People (Under 65’s)
  • Carer’s Support Programs

These services will transition to delivery by other service providers from 1 July 2022.

In March 2020, Council committed to further review of the following services to establish the presence or absence of quality service providers.

  • Delivered Meals (Meals on Wheels)
  • Volunteer Programs 
  • Home maintenance and modifications
  • Social Support Groups

Council completed this review in November 2021 and is confident that there are other organisations that are willing and capable of providing a high-quality service to clients in Baw Baw. 

Contact us

We’re here to help. For more information please contact Council’s Aged and Disability Services team on 5624 2411 or by email at bawbaw@bawbawshire.vic.gov.au.   

9 September 2021 Update

At the 8 September 2021 Council Meeting, Council reluctantly decided to cease the delivery of support services for people under the age of 65 and Aboriginal people under 50, as well as the Carer’s Support Programs as of 1 July 2022. This includes:

  • Carer’s Support Programs (the Support for Carers, and Support for Carers of People with Dementia programs)
  • Delivered meals
  • Home maintenance
  • Volunteer social support
  • Assessment services

These services will be delivered by other service providers from 1 July 2022.

Why is this happening?

Council decided based on information available at the time (March 2020) to continue delivering these support services. More recently (July 2021) Council received advice from the Victorian Government Department of Families, Fairness and Housing that Council’s intended approach does not match the Department’s policy position and approach of consolidating the number of service providers to strengthen the community services system to better meet the needs of clients.

Sector restructuring being implemented by the Federal and State Governments is changing Council's role in the community services sector. Despite having to respond by ceasing direct delivery of services, Council remains committed to ensuring this cohort of people receive the services required to support their wellbeing and that they remain connected to the wider Baw Baw Shire community.

Do I need to do anything?

Council will contact you as any changes impact your service/s and support you to understand the choices available and to transition your service to a new provider when required.

There is no immediate change to the service you currently receive. You will continue to receive your service through Council until 30 June 2022, after which a new organisation will take over.

What happens to the service I currently receive?

Council will continue to provide the service until 1 July 2022, and is currently in the process of gathering information from potential providers and prioritising their suitability to service Councils’ current clients.

This information and priority listing will be submitted to the State Government for consideration in their appointment of new providers.

Council will contact existing clients closer to the transition date of 1 July 2022, once we understand who the State Government are looking to appoint as the new service providers. We will help clients through this process to make sure they continue to receive the support they need post 1 July 2022.

Contact us

We’re here to help, and know that this is a big change. For more information please contact Council’s Aged and Disability Services team on 5624 2411 or by email at bawbaw@bawbawshire.vic.gov.au

 

11 March 2020 Update

The Australian Government is changing the way that aged and disability services are planned and delivered, impacting Councils’ ability to provide aged and disability services. Some changes to Aged and Disability services are expected as Council responds to ongoing reforms in the aged and disability services sector.

On 11 March 2020, Council resolved at a Council meeting to cease providing direct care services effective from 30 June 2022.

The services that will cease from 30 June 2022 include:

  • Domestic assistance (includes unescorted shopping support)
  • Personal Care (includes escorted shopping support)
  • Respite Care.

These services will be delivered by other service providers from 1 July 2022.

Council also resolved that all other Aged and Disability Services will be subject to further review work to identify options to optimise the sustainability of the service including:

  • Property maintenance and home modifications
  • Social Support Groups
  • Carer Support
  • Delivered Meals (Meals on Wheels)
  • Community Transport
  • Volunteer Programs 
  • Senior Citizen Clubs support.

Council understands this is a big change. We will work closely with staff, clients and volunteers to ensure everyone is informed about the decision and the changes along the way.

This decision has been made now, as Council recognises how valued these services are and wanted to provide some clarity in the midst of uncertainty and change to enable our clients to make informed decisions regarding their services and staff and volunteers their future.

Council will contact all clients to provide information that is specific to their circumstances as further information becomes available.

Council is committed to receiving six monthly reports at Council Meetings to provide any updates on:

  • Outcomes of the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety
  • Any Commonwealth Government announcements regarding sector reform
  • The progress of the transition and exit from direct care services and the ongoing review of all other Aged and Disability Services.