The Department of Health and Aged Care has this week published the government’s 2023 engagement calendar for the ongoing consultation on the new in-home aged care program.

The seven-month schedule starts with targeted group consultation in January and February. February also includes consultation with indigenous elders and providers and the establishment of a clinical advisory group.

A trial of a prototype assessment tool has been scheduled for March and April along with training. In June, the government will hold the fourth webinar to update stakeholders on the reform of the in-home aged care program. The schedule ends with a national roadshow in June and July.

Source: Department of Health and Aged Care

The government also intends to regularly publish newsletters and factsheets to provide information, progress updates and transition processes for both industry stakeholders and older people.

The updated consultation calendar follows a webinar held last month for older Australians, their families and carers, and the aged care sector to provide an update on the feedback received on the discussion paper for the new in-home aged care program.

Just before Christmas the department published the video recording of the webinar – which outlined the next steps for the reforms – and the slides that were shown during it.

Open engagement opportunities

Among other pending reforms, aged care stakeholders have until the end of next week to share their views on the draft Inspector-General of Aged Care Bill.

As reported last month, the government launched the consultation process for the draft bill and announced former COTA Australia chief executive Ian Yates as interim Inspector-General of Aged Care. The Inspector-General is expected to be appointed in the second half of 2023, pending the passage of legislation.

The 30–60-minute survey to inform the final bill targets aged care workers, providers, experts and peak organisations as well as older Australians, carers and families. The consultation period closes at 5pm AEDT on Friday 27 January 2023.

The government is also seeking feedback on the draft National Dementia Action Plan. The 15-minute survey also targets aged care workers, providers, experts and peak organisations as well as older Australians, carers and families.

Respondents are advised to refer to the consultation paper before completing the survey. There are also summary and one-page versions of the consultation document available. The survey closes on Tuesday 31 January 2023.

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