The provision of care support and training and education in dementia will adopt a more coordinated approach with the long-awaited awarding of tenders to deliver two nationally consistent programs.
A consortium led by HammondCare will deliver the new Dementia Support Australia service, replacing the existing state-based Dementia Behaviour Management Advisory Service (DBMAS) while a consortium led by the University of Wollongong will operate Dementia Training Australia, consolidating the current Dementia Training Study Centres and the Dementia Care Essentials program.
It follows a review late last year of government-funded dementia programs that found inefficiencies and called for consolidation of several services.
As Australian Ageing Agenda reported at the time, the review found the provision of information and training in dementia for both aged care workers and consumers and carers was a story of unmet need in some areas and duplication of services in others (read that story here).
Dementia Support Australia
Dementia-specialist aged care provider HammondCare said that national coverage with local specialisation would be the hallmark of the new Dementia Support Australia (DSA).
HammondCare CEO Dr Stephen Judd said the provider looked forward to working with its partners to deliver an effective, supportive national service.
“We will provide a nationally consistent approach, strengthened by a visible local presence, offering a tailored service for the person with dementia,” he said.
The provider’s experience in running the NSW DBMAS and the national Severe Behaviour Response Teams, along with the strength and experience of its partners, would enable DSA to provide a “boots on the ground” approach, Dr Judd said.
DSA would strive to build dementia capacity and knowledge across the sector through extensive sharing of advice and expertise, he added.
Among those partnering with HammondCare in DSA are Australian Regional & Remote Community Services (ARRCS), Blue Care and the Aged Care Channel.
Dementia Training Australia
Meanwhile, the $27.9 million Dementia Training Australia (DTA) program replaces the current Dementia Study Training Centres and Dementia Care Essentials program.
The DTA consortium is led by dementia educators and trainers from five universities and Alzheimer’s Australia WA.
It is made up of Professor Richard Fleming from the University of Wollongong, Professor Elizabeth Beattie from Queensland University of Technology, Dr Margaret Winbolt from La Trobe University, Professor Andrew Robinson from the University of Tasmania’s Wicking Dementia Research and Education Centre, Dr Andrew Stafford from the Western Australian Centre for Health and Ageing and Jason Burton from Alzheimer’s Australia WA.
Consortium leader Professor Richard Fleming said DTA partners would be building on the experience they had gained operating the Dementia Training Study Centres and the Dementia Care Essentials program for the last nine years.
The program would deliver training for the full range of health and aged care staff from personal care assistants in the community and residential care to medical specialists in hospitals.
Both national programs commence from 1 October 2016.
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