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Flexible care places boosted in regional and remote areas


The Multi-Purpose Services aged care program will be expanded in regional, rural and remote areas in five Australian states.

Ken Wyatt

MPS services, usually integrated into local health and community facilities, are a joint state and federal flexible care initiative designed for ageing Australians in areas that may be unable to support stand-alone hospitals or aged care homes, allowing people to remain in their communities and close to family.

Additional funding of $4 million, announced in the 2018-19 Budget, will help establish a new MPS service in Moura, Queensland, and expand the existing service in Blackall through 16 new flexible care places, Minister for Senior Australians and Aged Care Ken Wyatt says.

It will also boost services in 26 centres across NSW, South Australia, Victoria and Western Australia by upgrading 93 existing low care places to high care.

The positions will be delivered as residential care.

“The $4 million annual commitment extends our Government’s commitment to support senior Australians in regional, rural and remote areas,” Mr Wyatt said in a statement.

Last year more than 4,000 people received residential care through the nation’s 178 multi-purpose services, which receive federal flexible care subsidies based on the allotted number of places and daily funding amount.

Multi-purpose services can become home care providers under the HCP program if they meet relevant conditions.

Last September the government commissioned a University of Technology Sydney review of the MPS program to assess whether its objectives are being achieved.

For more information on the MPS program go here.

Funding available for innovative CHSP programs

Meanwhile, organisations seeking to trial or use novel approaches for the delivery of Commonwealth Home Support Services have until February 1 to put in an EOI for federal innovation funds.

Shortlisted EOIs will be invited to apply for a grant.

They should identify “more effective, efficient and user-centric options for the provision of entry-level aged care services”, the health department says.

More information is available here.

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