Future

Council Leads: John McCallum, Graham Dangerfield, Sandra Hills, Graeme Prior, Kevin McCoy, Cathy Thomas, Mel Coad and Tomás Chubb working with Chris Hall (Chair of the Remote Accord)

A ‘population health’ approach is required, which means the interface requirements should be considered in terms of need, and not dictated by systems funding.

In the current environment, the burden of ensuring holistic care often falls to the service provider or community. As the responsibility for navigating multiple, increasingly complex systems falls on individuals and their families – addressing ‘care link­age deficiencies’ will become a point of contention for the community.

Aged care programs appear to be initiated without due consideration as to how they fit into the existing pattern of health, disability and palliative care, or other closely aligned services that are already available – creating or contributing to service fragmentation (see figure below).

Fragmentation adversely impacts quality, cost, and outcomes.

When services are poorly coordinated and inefficiently delivered – continuity of care is near impossible to deliver, leading to adverse outcomes.

Addressing these issues will require a systemic, multi-disciplinary approach addressing a range of factors including governance, leadership, management, funding, infrastructure, service linkages and workforce.

 

Strategic Action 9

Strengthening the interface between aged care and primary/acute care

Intent

Older Australians have increasingly complex care needs that frequently require multidisciplinary services drawn from across aged, health and disability care.

However, poor coordination of funding across these systems, along with professional practice and education silos, contribute to reduced access to care, diminished care experience and increased costs for consumers and governments.

Better integration of these systems could be achieved by taking a population health approach, which structures care systems around the needs of consumers rather than around available funding.

Care systems should also be focused on maintaining wellness, supporting consumers to manage chronic conditions and promoting reablement rather than on providing episodic treatment for acute care needs, which is where the current emphasis lies.

For this to be achieved, there needs to be a frank discussion across the social and health care industries and all levels of government about how to restructure care and design more flexible funding mechanisms that support consumers to transition more easily between all government and privately funded services.

Achievements

 

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Strategic Action 11

Establishing a remote accord

Intent

An Industry Accord on the Remote Aged Care Workforce brings together remote aged care providers and intersecting interests from across the nation.

Stakeholders involved in aged care service delivery in remote and very remote locations have made it clear that there needs to be a tailored approach to aged care workforce issues in remote and very remote settings and that all levels of government, industry and community need to work together to achieve this.

Achievements

Established in April 2019, the Aged Care Workforce Remote Accord is an advocacy group and promotes the need for a joined-up approach across government – aged, disability, education, health – to better meet the needs of consumers, communities and services in remote and very remote areas.

You can find out more here: www.acwra.org.au

You can contact the Remote Accord by emailing: remoteaccord@nat.unitingcare.org.au

Aged care service provision in remote settings requires a different approach – and the early establishment and funding for the Remote Accord recognises this.

Coming Up

The Remote Accord are currently undertaking research into the state of the sector, including conducting focus groups and a literature review.

Watch out for future communiques detailing the findings from this research and next steps.

Strategic Action 12

Establishing an Aged Care Centre for Growth and Translational Research or CGTR

Intent

With ever-shorter policy development timeframes, the length of the research cycle is a point of contention.

Big data, machine learning and AI is driving an overreliance on analytics output.

We need to shift the focus back from ‘what is correlated with what’ to understanding ‘what causes what’.

The intent of the CGTR is to foster formalised collaboration between end users, leading aged care researchers, investors and workforce educators that provide the skills, knowledge and infrastructure to support translation of aged care workforce related research and technology from conception to market.

It is envisaged the CGTR will provide the collaborative research ecosystem that is required to support current and future aged care organisations and their workforces. Only through the CGTR will the industry be able to make the right investments and create the right mechanisms to improve research translation.

The Aged Care Workforce Industry Council is well positioned to address the current lag between research commissioning and the application of research findings to practice and policy, specifically:

  • Bringing together researchers, industry and policy-makers to identify gaps and priorities.
  • Providing guidance on research priorities and support for translation activities, innovation and commercialisation.
  • Facilitating uptake of best practice and promote research outputs.
  • Advocating for additional research funding from the Medical Research Future Fund funding, among other sources.

Achievements

The Department of Health released a Request for Tender on 18 May 2020 (closing 26 May 2020) for the CGTR which comprises two stages:

  • Development of an operational model for the CGTR in 2020 (Stage 1).
  • Establishment and operation of the CGTR, which is scheduled to begin in early 2021 (Stage 2)

Flinders University and Wells Advisory were successful in winning the tender to co-design the CGTR model with the Department of Health and the Council.

Coming Up