Corangamite Shire to transition away from direct aged care services

A women is helping an elderly man in a blue button up shirt get out of a black sedan car.

Following a six-month independent review into aged care services, Corangamite Shire Council has made the difficult decision to no longer provide in-home aged care services from 1 July 2023.

Mayor Ruth Gstrein said the Commonwealth had developed a new model of care called Support at Home and announced a start date of 1 July 2024.

“We thank our staff and clients for their patience while we have worked through the review to determine how we can best support our residents both now and into the future,” Cr Gstrein said.

Council carried out a review in response to the Commonwealth Government’s Aged Care reforms following the Quality and Safety Royal Commission in 2018.

Mayor Gstrein said Council had accepted the reformed services would be best delivered by alternate providers who could offer a greater range of services for clients.

“It was certainly not an easy decision for Council to make, but it needed to be made due to such transformational Federal reforms,” Cr Gstrein said.

“We also recognise that the new service being developed by the Commonwealth and the much-needed reforms are best delivered by specialist providers – a sector that has grown considerably over the last decade,” Cr Gstrein said.

“The open market will provide much greater choice for clients and Council will look at delivering alternative programs to support its residents.”

“We understand this has been a really challenging time for our wonderful staff and clients who have been with us for many years.

Council delivers entry-level in-home services for approximately 500 clients in Camperdown, Terang, Derrinallum, Lismore, Skipton and surrounds. Historically in Victoria, Councils have provided these services on behalf of the Commonwealth and State Governments as has Corangamite. In recent times there has been a substantive growth in dedicated aged care and disability services and providers which gives clients much greater choice.

“Our priority is supporting our clients and staff through this transition to ensure all clients can receive the level of care they need and remain at home for as long as they need and want to” Mayor Ruth Gstrein said.

Numerous local governments in rural and regional Victoria have announced their intention to exit from aged care or have already done so, including Golden Plains, Moorabool, Mildura, Greater Shepparton, Bendigo, Ballarat, Hepburn and Campaspe.

Mayor Gstrein said Council has advised both the State and Commonwealth Governments of its decision to conclude its current role in aged care.

“Council will continue to support our ageing population by helping connect residents to the services they need and to develop active ageing programs in the future,” she said.

“This approach will benefit a larger number of residents in the community.”

Once this direct form of service delivery ceases, Council will continue to provide support to residents to ensure referrals and links to services occur as we work together to help our communities navigate the aged care and disability system.

“At this stage, staff and clients do not need to do anything and services will continue.

“Importantly, no client will be left without a service,” Cr Gstrein said.

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