The way older people in the Western NSW Local Health District (LHD) are referred to community support services will change from 1 July 2015. My Aged Care is a new Contact Centre which aims to provide a ‘one-stop shop’ for assessing and referring older people to services in the community.
Western NSW LHD Acting Director of Integrated Primary Care and Partnerships, Jackie Corliss said the change is part of the Commonwealth government’s aged care reforms that were introduced in 2012. “The new My Aged Care referral service is a major structure underpinning these reforms and has been set up to allow older people to access services in one place,” she said.
Western NSW LHD has been working with the Commonwealth government and NSW Health to implement My Aged Care in the central west of NSW.
“My Aged Care will identify a person’s aged care needs for home support services, provide assessment services for older people and update client record information, all in the one place,” Ms Corliss said. “The new standardised screening and assessment process will improve the consumer experience and access to information and services in a more simplified system, also providing older people with more choice and better care”.
Another aspect of the Commonwealth Aged Care Reforms is the transition of the current Home and Community Care (HACC) program to the Commonwealth Home Support Program (CHSP) from 1 July 2015. The new CHSP will provide entry-level support services for people aged 65 years and over (or 50 years and over for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people) who need help to remain living independently at home. Anyone who makes referrals on behalf of older people to the CHSP, including hospital clinicians, nurses, community health workers, GPs, and non-government organisations, will access My Aged Care to make referrals from 1 July.
Older people and their families and carers can also make referrals through My Aged Care either online at www.myagedcare.gov.au or by phoning the Contact Centre on 1800 200 422. “Under the CHSP, older people will be able to access a wide range of services such as planned respite, delivered meals and domestic assistance,” Ms Corliss said.
People who think they may be eligible for CHSP services can simply visit My Aged Care for an assessment, either themselves or through their health care provider.
“Once you visit My Aged Care, a centralised client record will be established to facilitate the collection and sharing of your information between services to ensure you receive appropriate services,” Ms Corliss said.
For more information about My Aged Care talk to your GP or health service provider; visit the NSW Health My Aged Care webpage at www.health.nsw.gov.au/agedcare/pages/default.aspx; ; or contact Marianne Straatsma, Western NSW LHD Aged Care Project Officer on 6841 2350.