Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Shot in arm for ACT after-hospital care

The ACT Government says it will introduce a new program to provide patients with temporary support services to discharge safely from hospital or remain in their homes while they recover. 

From 1 October 2023, the existing Community Assistance Support Program (CASP) and the Flexible Family Support (FFS) and Transitional Care programs will be replaced by a single program. 

Minister for Health, Rachel Stephen-Smith said the program was designed to ensure vulnerable Canberrans don’t fall through the gaps of existing services and programs or remain in hospital for longer than necessary. 

“The new program will include a dedicated central intake provider, making it simpler for people and carers to access temporary assistance and supports not accessible through other ACT and Commonwealth Government programs,” the Minister said. 

“Short-term services include non-clinical mental health supports, personal care including assistance with bathing or dressing and help with other domestic tasks like cooking and laundry.  

“Importantly, the program will provide help in connecting people to existing community supports and accessing longer-term services such as the NDIS and the Commonwealth Home Support Programme. 

“Enabling people to access care and supports in their own home means people can remain connected to family, carers friends and the wider community.” 

The ACT Government says it will invest more than $8 million that is currently spent annually on the ceasing programs into the new program to deliver more effective, efficient services for vulnerable Canberrans. 

Over the past 12 months, the Government has worked with community partners, advocates, clinicians and other stakeholders to identify how it could achieve better outcomes with this investment and identify areas for improvement. 

“This new program is informed by our extensive consultation, with expanded eligibility to include support for people aged 65 and over so people of all ages can be supported through the new program,” Minister Stephen-Smith said. 

“Providers under the new program will have longer outcomes-focused contracts, providing community support providers with more stability and empowering a more flexible and innovative service response.” 

“Thank you to everyone who has contributed to this process to-date, including through the co-design of the new program. Community service providers and local organisations play a key role in supporting the health and wellbeing of our community. I am looking forward to this continued partnership as we all work together to deliver even better outcomes for Canberrans.” 

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