The City of Swan’s Community Care Services transition to consumer directed care has been a measured and gradual one. We began by restructuring the services’ organisational model to cope with this new approach to care, as we saw this as paramount. We are only a small service in terms of care package numbers (40 X level 2) so we initially identified that our future business lay in the provision of specialised niche services that we do well, Centre Based Day Care and community transport.
We have set up our business model to focus on competitive practises and growth targets, partnering with several approved providers. We now have a Centre Based Day Care Reablement Coordinator and each Centre Based Day Care Centre is run by a Client Reablement Officer. We now also have Allied Health consultants who work regularly with our agency and our clients, so the quality of care is high.
We are currently updating our IT software. We use Service Management System SMS, provided by Alchemy Technology and our staff members have had excellent training through Community West (HACC Training and Workforce Development Provider). We feel we are geared up and ready to go with the new Australian Home Care packages and consumer directed care model. We have briefed all of our packaged care clients about the changes and they are very much looking forward to this new model of care, choice and autonomy.
We have found networking with other agencies a critical part of the process, as we are all going through this massive change together. The networking has allowed us to find out how others are approaching the changes and all of the information sharing has been helpful. We have consequently set up a number of partnerships with both Approved Providers and Service Providers.
We have also refurbished and remodelled our main Centre Based Day Care Centre (we have two centres at the moment) installing ceiling hoists, new disability toilets, new commercial grade kitchen and more, to accommodate a broader diversity of clients and high care clients for respite and socialisation services. Transport and Centre Based Day Care services are available to other approved providers at full cost recovery prices and we have had a great deal of interest, with admissions to services now starting. This approach aligns with City of Swan’s Strategic Community Plan that supports the concept of ‘ageing in place’ by responding to changes and demands in health and lifestyle requirements.
Thrown into the mix with all of these changes is the fact that we are also part of the Perth Hills Trial Site for the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). All of our HACC ‘under 65 years’ clients are being assessed by NDIS and transferred across, where eligible, to NDIS funding. We have become a NDIS Approved Service Provider, so we are currently managing this shift as well.
Overall, we are ready to go and believe that our consumers will really benefit from consumer directed care and the way we have redeveloped our services.
Executive Manager, Community Wellbeing
City of Swan