No more “tinkering around the edges”: providers call for “systemic” reform, Grant Thornton says

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Serious structural reform will be needed to address the many of the “wicked problems” facing the sector and restore the trust of the community, according to a report released by the accounting and advisory firm and submitted to the Royal Commission last week.

Developed in partnership with Leading Age Services Australia (LASA), the 44-page ‘Perspectives on the Future of Ageing and Age Services in Australia: A provider contribution to the discussion’ report is the result of workshops held in Adelaide, Perth, Hobart, Melbourne, Brisbane and Sydney in August with senior management from 112 for-profit, not-for-profit and government aged care providers.

The report says providers want:

  • A dedicated ageing and aged services Minister with a place in Cabinet;
  • A radical resign of the system based on the consumer experience, rather than state and federal boundaries and funding;
  • Consultation with service providers, in ageing, hospitals, primary care, Primary Health Networks (PHNs), education, taxation, superannuation and health insurance to set up a “whole of system” perspective on reform;
  • Immediate consideration of the viability of the sector, including the possibility of separating funding for accommodation and care;
  • Immediate consideration of processes to improve the relationship between Government and providers to move from the current “punitive and transactional” model to one of “engagement, trust and respect”.

There are also some intriguing ideas contained within the report – such as a digital “passport” for residents (like the ‘Blue Book’ for children that documents their health) which could be accessed by all providers through data sharing and artificial intelligence (AI); and a common framework for data that is portable across systems to evaluate services and improve customer experience.

The partners say the next step will be further work to consult with consumers and other stakeholders on the ideas.

Read the full report HERE.

LASA has also developed its own ‘Key insights and reflections on the Future of Ageing and Age Services Workshops’ report which you can download HERE.

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