The information on this page is the latest information and resources for Home Care Providers, Older Australians and Disability Services.
Coronavirus Health Information Line: 1800 020 080
Healthdirect Hotline: 1800 022 222
Public Health Unit: 1300 066 055
If you require clinical advice on matters relating to Communicable Diseases or other Public Health issues outside of normal hours, please contact your nearest Public Health Unit.
Bathurst: 0428 400 526
Dubbo: 0428 400 526
Broken Hill: 0419 917 426
Advice for Home Care Service Providers in NSW
Advice for Home Care Providers
Advice for Disability CARE PROVIDERS HERE
Green Alert Issued by NSW Health
Effective immediately, NSW Health services will move from amber alert, or moderate transmission to green alert, or low transmission in line with the COVID-19 Infection Prevention and Control Response Framework.
This advice applies to hospital and community health settings and came into effect on Wednesday 18 November 2020.
This decision follows discussion at the Risk Escalation Review Panel today which includes representatives from the Ministry, Public Health Emergency Operations Centre, the Agency for Clinical Innovation and the Clinical Excellence Commission. The Panel’s recommendation has been actioned in consultation with the Chief Health Officer.
The decision has been reinforced in the knowledge of no locally acquired COVID-19 cases in NSW in the past week. The Panel has determined that cases in neighbouring states remain low despite a resurgence of locally acquired cases in South Australia.
Current risk levels are monitored on the COVID-19 Risk Monitoring Dashboard.
GREEN ALERT MESSAGE FROM DR NIGEL LYONS, DEPUTY SECRETARY, HEALTH SYSTEM STRATEGY AND PLANNING
COVID-19 INFECTION PREVENTION AND CONTROL RESPONSE AND ESCALATION FRAMEWORK
WNSW PHN SURGICAL MASK REQUEST FORM
Expand each section below for further information
Telehealth Services - Connect to Your GP
Western NSW Primary Health Network has gained approval from the Department of Health to expand the availability of telehealth video conferencing to General Practices and any eligible health provider in our footprint.
This will benefit the members of our community that are at greater risk from the virus by enabling continued access to GPs and specialists, nurses and mental health allied health workers using this technology.
This is being facilitated through the Healthdirect Video Calling platform which allows healthcare professionals to engage with their patients in their clinic’s online waiting area, rather than a physical one.
Information Specific to Older Australians
OPAN COVID-19 RESOURCES FOR RACF RESIDENTS AND THEIR FAMILIES
COVID-19 Care Planning & Resources
Information for Home Care Providers
Information for In-Home Care Workers
Information for Older Australians
Immunisation Information During COVID-19
DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH - IT'S OK TO HAVE HOME CARE
HEALTHCARE VISITING GUIDE: ENABLING FAMILY PRESENCE DURING COVID-19
OLDER AUSTRALIANS COVID-19 SUPPORT LINE
NATIONAL AGED CARE ADVOCACY PROGRAMAssistance with food and meals
The Older Persons COVID-19 Support Line
Commonwealth Home Support Program (CHSP)
The Department of Health has put together a frequently asked questions (FAQs) document that aims to assist CHSP providers with the impact of COVID-19 on their operations.
The document covers a range of topics to assist providers in accessing government measures, support, advice and guidance for their workforce as well as many FAQs the department has been fielding about program flexibility and advice on supporting clients during this difficult time.
Emergency Funding for Providers
Personal Monitoring Technology for Senior Australians
Changes to the CHSP Program Manual
The CHSP Program Manual has been updated for the extension of the Commonwealth Home Support Programme (CHSP) from 1 July 2020 to
30 June 2022.
Commonwealth Home Support Programme Fact Sheets
The Department of Health has released a set of Fact Sheets providing further information to support CHSP service providers during the COVID-19 pandemic.
SUPPORT AVAILABLE TO CHSP PROVIDERS
Emergency Funding for CHSP Providers
Temporary Changes to CHSP Flexibility Provisions
Information for CHSP Clients and their families and carers
Advice around essential CHSP services and client charges
The department understands there is some confusion around the provision of essential home support services. To clarify, with the exception of Social Support Group, no CHSP service types should be cancelled or reduced by providers on the grounds of being non-essential during the COVID-19 pandemic. While there may be a reduction in demand for some services by clients during this time, all CHSP providers are expected to continue offering and delivering services safely and in accordance with state and territory social distancing and infection control requirements.
CHSP service providers may now re-open their Social Support Group and other in-person group activities where they can be delivered safely in a manner consistent with state and territory restrictions. Resources and specific information relevant to your state or territory can be found at www.australia.gov.au.
The department expects that all CHSP providers communicate and discuss any changes to care arrangements with their clients at the earliest opportunity. CHSP clients should not be charged for services they have not received. This includes services that have had to be cancelled or suspended due to COVID-19.
For more information, please contact your Community Grants Hub Funding Arrangement Manager (FAM).
Access to CHSP meals for CoS clients
CoS clients who need prepared meals due to the impact of COVID-19, can now access CHSP meals for the period of 1 May 2020 to 30 September 2020.
CoS clients who need CHSP meal services can contact a meals provider themselves or call My Aged Care on 1800 200 422. Following the screening process, My Aged Care will issue an urgent electronic referral to a CHSP meals provider. From this point on the referral process for the provider is the same as for other CHSP meals clients.
If the CoS client contacts the CHSP meals provider, the provider follows the same process currently in place for the provision of urgent services to CHSP clients.
CoS clients can access CHSP meals for any period, from the date of referral, up to 30 September 2020. CoS clients are not entering the aged care system and are only receiving CHSP meals for a time-limited period. They do not need a RAS assessment.
For the purposes of meals provision, the CHSP Client Contribution Framework will apply to CoS clients.
Meals providers are to contact the CoS client two weeks before 30 September 2020 to remind the client they will not receive meal services after this date.
If the CoS client needs to continue to receive CHSP meals after 30 September 2020, they must be referred to the Department at CommonwealthCos@health.gov.au to discuss their options for ongoing support.
Information Specific to Disability Services
NSW HEALTH INFORMATION FOR PEOPLE WITH A DISABILITY
Australia's immediate Response Plan for People with a Disability
NDIS Participant COVID-19 Fact Sheet
NDIS COVID-19 Information and Support
NDIS Commission COVID-19 Resources
INFORMATION FOR HOME CARE PROVIDERS
INFORMATION FOR IN-HOME CARE WORKERS
IMMUNISATION INFORMATION DURING COVID-19
DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH - IT'S OK TO HAVE HOME CARE
Carer Gateway Support Services
Western and Far Western NSW Carers now have access to greater supports with the introduction of the new Carer gateway support service.
New services for carers include carer support planning, counselling, peer support, carer-directed support packages and emergency respite services.
Education Modules & Webinars
Four eLearning modules developed specifically for Aged Care Workers are now online.
- Module 1: Personal Safety
- Module 2: Families and Visitors
- Module 3: COVID-19 and Aged Care
- Module 4: Outbreak Management procedures
If you would like to access the Aged Care training, users will need to register their workplaces as ‘Aged Care’. If you have already registered for online training but not with ‘Aged Care’ as your workplace, email email@example.com for a priority response.
Access the dEPARTMENT OF HEALTH COVID-19 TRAINING MODULES
PROPER HAND HYGIENE - INFECTION CONTROL
CEC COVID-19 PPE TRAINING VIDEOS
Ordering PPE Supplies
Aged Care Providers - New Process
To ensure PPE from the National Medical Stockpile is effectively prioritised on a needs-basis, providers are being asked to complete a new Aged Care PPE Request Form. This form will be sent to you via email after an initial inquiry is made via the firstname.lastname@example.org email address.
Providers will be asked a number of questions relating to their PPE needs, including staff numbers (or home client visits per day), the number of care recipients, PPE supplies on hands, and PPE requirements. It is recommended someone with an appropriate level of operational knowledge complete the form.
If you have a confirmed or suspected case of COVID-19, a case manager will work with you on your PPE requirements.
At this stage, generally, only masks are being distributed to residential and in-home aged care services who are in a priority category.
A priority category is a residential or in-home aged care service who:
- cannot access PPE through their usual means, and
- the Australian Government or State or Territory Government requires workers to wear masks in relation to a community transmission region, or
- they deliver personal care or other activities that require close physical contact, where:
- there is an outbreak or suspected case of COVID-19 or another notifiable infectious respiratory disease, or
- there is an immediate threat to the continuity of safe quality care due to a lack of access to PPE supplies.
Providers should also continue to try to source the PPE through suppliers while awaiting a response. Providers need to establish an ongoing general PPE supply.
In the absence of a vaccine for COVID-19, preventing exposure is the single most important step that any of us can take to protect ourselves and others from contracting this virus.
Providers should be undertaking routine screening of staff and visitors on entry irrespective of size or location. It is especially important for residential services located in communities (and/or drawing their staff from communities) where there is a local cluster of people with confirmed or suspected COVID-19, or which are considered to be at higher risk of an outbreak.
Entry Screening Advice for RACFS
Order PPE Supplies for Aged Care
Disability Care Providers
Access to PPE will also be prioritised for disability care providers who deliver personal care and other activities that require close physical contact where there is an immediate threat to the continuity of safe quality care due to lack of access to PPE, or where the participant has a confirmed or suspected case of COVID-19:
- The Department of Health will be assessing requests from disability service providers and self-managing participants, prioritising supply to the most urgent need.
- Disability care providers who use personal protective equipment (PPE) as a usual part of their support arrangements should continue to access PPE through their usual means. Where this is no longer possible, they should approach the National Medical Stockpile (NMS).
- The Department of Health has a dedicated email address for those requesting access to the National stockpile: NDISCOVIDPPE@health.gov.au.
Helpful Information and Resources
Dementia Australia has released Help Sheets outlining tips for people living with dementia, carers, families and friends of people living with dementia, residential care providers and home care providers.
ACCESS THE DEMENTIA AUSTRALIA HELP SHEETS HERE
Managing Behaviours During a Pandemic
tips for Carers, Families and Friends of People Living with Dementia
TIPS FOR PEOPLE LIVING WITH DEMENTIA
Dementia Australia Webinar Series
DEMENTIA TRAINING AUSTRALIA - RESOURCES GUIDE
DEMENTIA TRAINING AUSTRALIA - DEMENTIA DISCOVERY MICRO-COURSES
Dementia Australia's 2021 Dementia Learning Guide
Dementia Australia's 2021 Dementia Learning Guide is essential to planning your approach to building your team's dementia capabilities. It offers more digital education using virtual classrooms and interactive elements to maximise engagement and learning outcomes.
Centre for Dementia Learning can empower your team with the knowledge and skills that maximise engagement, improve communication and increase empathy. Developing and mentoring staff is critical to building organisational capability and business performance.
With Dementia Australia's support and guidance, your organisation can systematically improve the services you offer and create better outcomes for people living with dementia.
ACCESS THE DEMENTIA AUSTRALIA 2021 DEMENTIA LEARNING GUIDE HERE
Advanced Care Planning
Advance Care Planning (ACP) enables a person to discuss and document the extent of medical intervention they wish to receive when in critical care or if approaching the end of their life.
ACP should be part of routine practice and with the increasing impact of COVID-19 on services, it is critical for clinical staff to proactively engage in these discussions with all patients and families.
The NSW Advance Care Directive Guidelines provide guidance to health professionals on how to discuss ACP and use an Advance Care Directive as part of this process. Resources include information about how to sensitively and effectively engage with patients and their families about advance care planning.
While patients’ wishes may not always be met, ACPs can support clinical care which better aligns with patients’ preferences.
NSW Health Information is also available to help people understand the importance of planning ahead and of documenting their preferences for care and treatment.
Advance Care Planning - Making your Wishes Known
Making an Advance Care Planning Directive
NSW Advance Care Directive guidelines
Advance Care Planning Australia
Advance Care Planning Australia
Grief, Loss and Bereavement Support
Following on from announcements regarding grief and trauma support for aged care recipients, their loved ones and aged care staff, here are details on grief, loss and bereavement counselling services available and how to access them:
- PHONE COUNSELLING: The Australian Centre for Grief and Bereavement (ACGB) has a free grief, loss and bereavement support service available on 1800 22 22 00. Callers will be triaged and directed to self-care resources, group counselling or 1:1 counselling sessions with a bereavement practitioner via telehealth, video call, or in person.
- ACGB has bi-lingual staff who can currently work with clients in Arabic, Czech, Farsi, French, Italian, Japanese, Maltese, Sinhali, Tamil, Spanish and Yiddish. Request your preferred language when phoning, otherwise TIS can be used to support other preferred languages.
- ACGB is also available to help aged care providers, religious and community groups who need help tailoring strategies to support their organisations and communities with grief and loss due to COVID-19.
- ACGB supports the use of Auslan for people who are deaf and hard of hearing.
- PHONE APP: The free “My Grief” app provides tools to support people who are bereaved, and also provides strategies on how loved ones can support someone experiencing grief and loss.
- INFORMATION: There are COVID-19 specific grief and trauma fact sheets available on the ACGB website at: www.aged.grief.org.au.
Supporting people after trauma:
Phoenix Australia offers information and tools to support those who have had traumatic experiences, as well as trauma recovery resources for carers and aged care providers. They also have tip sheets to support health practitioners and community members www.phoenixaustralia.org/aged-care
Dementia Support Australia provide 24-hour help, across Australia 365 days a year. Trained consultants provide advice and recommendations to people who care for someone with dementia where behaviours are impacting their care. Phone 1800 699 799, www.dementia.com.au
OPAN is the voice for older people who are using or considering aged care. They provide free, confidential, independent advocacy as well as information and education to older people, their families and representatives. Phone OPAN on 1800 237 981 to talk about COVID-19 concerns www.opan.com.au
All of these organisations work in the spirit of respect and inclusivity. If a person requires a translator for these services: phone 131 450 first, nominate which language and then nominate which service to connect to. Auslan is also supported by ACGB.
COVID-19 Aged Care Support Program
LETTER TO RACFS FROM FEDERAL MINISTER FOR AGED CARE & SENIOR AUSTRALIANS
THIRD RETENTION BONUS PAYMENT INFORMATION
Support for Aged Care Workers in COVID-19 Grant Opportunity Open
The Support for Aged Care Workers in COVID-19 (SACWIC) Grant Opportunity is designed to minimise the risk of infection to aged care workers, residents and other consumers of aged care service.
The Grant is now open to approved Residential Aged Care providers, approved National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Flexible Aged Care Program (NATSIFACP) providers and approved Home Care providers.
ACCESS THE SACWIC GRANT DETAILS HERE
More Support Programs
WORKFORCE RETENTION BONUS FAQ'S
The COVID-19 Aged Care Support Program will reimburse eligible aged care providers for eligible expenditure incurred on managing direct impacts of COVID-19.
The Program will run over 2 years from 2019-20 to 2020-21.
The Program will assist Residential Aged Care, National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Flexible Aged Care Program and Home Care Package providers that are subject to direct COVID-19 impacts, to deliver continuity of safe quality care for consumers.
Access the Aged Care Support Program Details
Workforce Surge Measure
The Department has engaged Recruitment, Consulting and Staffing Association (RCSA) and Healthcare Australia (HCA) to provide surge workforce, commencing 1 July 2020, to ensure the continuity of aged care during COVID-19.
These arrangements complement the temporary surge workforce through Mable’s online platform www.mable.com.au , and the emergency response teams and remote locums through Aspen Medical that are already in place. The new services allow residential and home care providers to access a wider pool of workforce suppliers when looking to engage additional staff to supplement their workforce in the event of a COVID-19 outbreak.
If providers are unable to find all required staff through their usual arrangements, the workforce surge measures are in place to help providers find skilled workers to fill critical gaps or shortages.
These additional arrangements recognise the ongoing need of providers to readily access experienced and qualified staff when managing a COVID-19 outbreak.
Under the existing workforce measures, the Government will continue to pay the costs of staff deployed where a COVID-19 outbreak is experienced by an aged care provider and staff are engaged through Aspen Medical for emergency response teams and remote locums, and for staff engaged through Mable. Staff engaged through RCSA and HCA will be invoiced directly to the providers and may be reimbursed through the COVID-19 Aged Care Support Grant Program.
NSW Ambulance Authorised Care Plans During COVID-19
In response to the current demand on services regarding COVID-19, NSW Ambulance Models of Care Unit is changing the processing, endorsement and return of Authorised Care Plans.
Plans can be submitted via email@example.com
Plan information can be accessed here
Letter of Notice - Change of Process from NSW Ambulance