Improving access to primary health care for older Australians

WA Primary Health Alliance (WAPHA) has received funding under the Australian Government Aged Care Reform Package to support better integration across the aged care and health care systems for the benefit of senior Australians.

WAPHA will undertake an enhanced role to improve access to aged care information for older Australians, especially for those with multiple care needs.

The funding forms part of the Australia Government Response into the Royal Commission for Aged Care Quality and Safety and commitments of the 2021-2025 Aged Care Reform Plan “5 Pillars over 5 Years”.

General Manager Strategy and  Engagement, Chris Kane said the new Aged Care Act will underpin the once-in-a-generation change to aged care in Australia. Senior Australians will benefit from a new legislative framework formalising their access to an aged care system that is focused on their needs and delivers dignity, care and respect

“The activities WAPHA will be leading really reflect our mission of better health, together, and are intended to drive continued collaboration with stakeholders at the aged care and primary health care interface.

“The outcome we are seeking is for older Australians to be able to live well in their communities longer with the right support and care, whether they are accessing at home support services or are a resident in an RACF with comprehensive needs,” Ms Kane said.

Under the Commonwealth direction to Primary Health Networks (PHN), including the Aged Care Funding Guidance and Dementia Guidance, WAPHA has established the following ten activities addressing the Aged Care Reform Plan Pillar 1 (Home Care) and Pillar 3 (Residential Aged Care Quality and Safety).

  1. GP Aged Care and Medicare Benefits Schedule Training (including PHN Allied Health Aged Care COVID Response and COVID Allied Health Package GP Education) – our webinar series begins with Aged Care and MBS Update on 27 April 2022 and will continue until June 2022.
  2. Greater Choice for at Home Palliative Care Expansion
  3. Residential Aged Care Facility (RACF) Telehealth – Supporting RACFs to increase use and availability of telehealth for residents
  4. RACF Out of Hours – Enhanced out of hours support for RACFs
  5. Early Intervention – Commissioning early intervention initiatives to support healthy ageing and ongoing management of chronic conditions
  6. Care Finders – Investment to support system navigation
  7. Aged Care HealthPathways – Awareness and engagement
  8. New Dementia HealthPathways for general practitioners
  9. Dementia Consumer Pathway Resource – Investment to improve end-user information
  10. National Palliative Care Agreement Project – End of Life and Palliative Care in RACFs (Funded directly by WA Department of Health)

Planning for each activity is underway for the design, co-commissioning and delivery of the WAPHA Aged Care Program 2021-2025. Visit Our Health Priorities: Aged Care for further information.

To read about the position statement for Primary Health Networks on Aged Care, refer to the PHN White Paper Supporting Health Ageing: The Role of PHNs