26 September 2023

New Health program sees people at home

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ACT Health has decided it is to change the way it provides support services so it can keep more vulnerable people out of hospital and safely in their homes.

Announced by the Minister for Health, Rachel Stephen-Smith, the Directorate’s changes will see its existing Community Assistance Support Program (CASP), Flexible Family Support (FFS) program and Transitional Care program replaced with a new single program from October next year.

“The new program will provide people in the ACT with temporary supports to discharge safely from hospital or remain in their homes while they recover from an illness, injury or other health issue,” Ms Stephen-Smith said.

“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,” she 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.”

Ms Stephen-Smith said the new program was designed to make sure vulnerable Canberrans don’t fall through the gaps of existing services and programs or remain in hospital for longer than necessary.

She said it would also provide help connecting people with existing community supports and accessing longer-term services such as the NDIS and the Commonwealth Home Support Program.

“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 Minister said.

“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,” she said.

Ms Stephen-Smith said providers under the new program would have longer, outcomes-focused contracts, to give community support providers more stability and empower a more flexible and innovative service response.

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