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$100 million CHSP boost as HCP queue grows


The federal government has announced funding of $100 million for the Commonwealth Home Support program as the latest figures show the waiting list for home care packages continues to balloon.

The funds target five CHSP services including domestic help, meals, transport, home maintenance and home modifications.

Funding will be provided to a “targeted group” of existing CHSP providers over two years, Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Minister for Senior Australians and Aged Care Ken Wyatt announced in WA on Tuesday.

Providers who deliver the identified service types will be contacted by their funding managers and will receive the first payments from next January.

Ken Wyatt

Around 1,600 providers currently deliver CHSP services to around 800,000 Australians. In many cases the CHSP provides low-level bridging assistance for the growing list of people waiting for a home care package. Current CHSP funding arrangements are set to expire in June 2020.

HCP waiting lists continue to grow

The latest figures show that 13,000 people joined the queue for a home care package over the last quarter.

As of June 30 more than 121,400 people were waiting for their appropriate level of care, according to the 2018 April-June quarterly report on the home care packages program released late last Friday.

That was an increase from 108, 456 waiting at the end of March, and 104,602 in the queue last December.

Of the 121,418 currently waiting, 64,688 were either receiving or had received an interim package providing a lower level of care than required, but 56,750 were not receiving any support.

In keeping with the general pattern of previous reports, demand for more intensive levels of care is highest with almost 95,300 waiting for level 3 and 4 packages. Almost 17,000 people with high needs were not receiving any support.

Anyone who became eligible for a level 3 or 4 package in June 2018 can expect to wait at least 12 months for funding to come through.

More receiving home care

However the figures show while demand continues to outstrip supply more people are receiving home care, with 84,971 in a home care package at March 2018, an increase of 20.4 per cent over the last 12 months and 7000 more than at the December quarter.

The report also showed home care providers are continuing to proliferate, with 869 approved providers at the end of June, compared to 853 identified in the January-March report and 18.2 per cent up on the previous year.

Julie Collins

“An average of 2,850 packages were released each week during the 2017-18 financial year,” Mr Wyatt said.

“It reflects the strong growth in people opting to live at home for as long as possi

“Our Government’s commitment to home care is allowing more people to get their approved level of care and remain in their safe, secure and familiar surroundings.”

Opposition spokeswoman on ageing Julie Collins said Tuesday’s announcement wouldn’t deliver one new home care package to the 121,000 currently waiting and said at any rate the CHSP program was in the process of being wound up.

“The Government is planning to pump money into a program that it set to expire in less than two years,” she said.

“It is the Abbott-Turnbull-Morrison Government attempting to distract from the unfolding crisis in the number of older Australians wanting to stay at home with high care needs. ”

Home care data for April-June 2018 at a glance

Home care wait list

  • Total number waiting for assigned level of care: 21, 418
  • Level 1: 434
  • Level 2: 25,700
  • Level 3: 38,057
  • Level 4: 57,227

Average waiting time

  • Level 1: 1-3 months
  • Level 2: 9-12 months
  • Level 3 and 4: Minimum 12 months

Other HCP statistics

  • Number of people with a home care package: 84,971
  • Percentage assigned or in a lower level package: 53.3 per cent
  • Number of home care providers: 869

You can read the full report here

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3 Responses to $100 million CHSP boost as HCP queue grows

  1. Barry October 5, 2018 at 10:06 am #

    The amount of service available with out a package is minimal.

    Once you get a package basic services have to be paid at full cost recovery from the package.

    This leaves people unable to have all the services they need to live healthy, fulfilling lives in the community.

    People are giving up social support and delivered meals to keep some personal care, domestic assistance and maybe some shopping.

    This will lead to a growing group of frail aged people who are socially isolated and malnourished in our communities.

    The frail aged members of our communities should have access to social support and delivered meals at a CHSP rate no matter what level of package they have been allocated.

    If changes are not made we will see people admitted to Age Care for want of an insulin injection twice a day as even a level 4 package is hard pressed to pay full cost recovery for a twice a day insulin injection as is required under the current system.

  2. Peter Hynes October 6, 2018 at 12:28 pm #

    My wife was diagnosed with dementia in 2010 and this advanced slowly until this year. She still identify thing that need to be done but by the time she attempt to do it she has forgotten what it was. She is frustrated at not being able to achieve anything. Working with an Exercise Physiologist we designed a program. A HCP Level 3 has been approved but won’t be activated for 12 months.

    Her need is now. At her current rate of decline she probably won’t be capable in 12 months.

  3. Janet Pearce October 15, 2018 at 8:24 pm #

    “Our Government’s commitment to home care is allowing more people to get their approved level of care and remain in their safe, secure and familiar surroundings.”

    NOT TRUE when almost 95,300 older people are waiting for level 3 and 4 packages, which have been approved and almost 17,000 people with high needs are not receiving any support.

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