Aged care services and consumers have just three weeks to make submissions on the design of future aged care advocacy services, with the government this morning announcing the consultation period is open.

With aged care moving to a market-based system, where consumers pay more for their care and services in return for greater control, the issue of independent advice and advocacy for older people has become crucial.

In March the government released the findings of a review into Australia’s system of aged care advocacy, which is currently delivered under two national programs by nine different state-based agencies.

The review called for a new single advocacy program and a framework to be developed to deliver a nationally consistent approach.

Last month Australian Ageing Agenda reported that the nine state-based aged care advocacy agencies urged the government to confirm the future delivery of the program, as their funding was due to run out in January 2017. (read that story here).

This morning the government confirmed a short-term extension of funding for the advocacy services, until 30 June 2017.

Assistant Minister for Health and Aged Care Ken Wyatt said the development of the framework would help support a nationally consistent approach to the delivery of Commonwealth-funded advocacy services for aged care consumers.

“This process is part of the Australian Government’s commitment to giving older Australians greater choice and control over their aged care needs.”

Submissions on the draft framework close on 7 October and can be made through the consultation hub on the Department of Health’s website (access it here).

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