COTA Australia (COTA) welcomes this opportunity to provide feedback on the Department of Social Services (DSS) Discussion Paper ‘Key directions for the Commonwealth Home Support Programme – basic support for older people living at home’. This response has been prepared through a consultative process with State and Territory COTAs across Australia and focuses mainly on the consumer impacts of the discussion paper.
COTA commends DSS on this comprehensive discussion paper and we take this opportunity to affirm our view that the future of home care will be a continuum comprising a single integrated home care programme that combines the Commonwealth Home Support Programme (CHSP) and the Home Care Packages Programme (HCPP) and uses a mix of block and individualised funding.
We acknowledge that COTA Australia has been an active participant in the development of the National Aged Care Alliance (NACA) response to this paper, and support its reference to the NACA advice of September 2013 contained in the ‘Commonwealth Home Support Programme – Design Paper’.
We also acknowledge that the COTAs have been active participants in this and other consultation processes involving changes from state based and Commonwealth HACC programmes to the proposed CHSP.
COTA believes that the principles and changes outlined in the CHSP discussion paper address many of the problems of the previous multiple programmes that have provided support to older people and enabled them to remain in their own homes.
Whilst the CHSP is explained as improving the consumer’s role and influence over their own life and support, COTA believes there will need to be a multi-dimensional communication strategy to ensure consumers and service recipients understand the new programme.
COTA believes that this DSS discussion paper encompasses much of the advice provided through earlier consultations and commends DSS on its willingness to engage with the sector on the final design and implementation elements of the Commonwealth Home Support Programme.