Home' Community Care Review : CCR Aug-Spt 2015 Contents ...the majority of clients have told
us they are better off under CDC,
and this can only be a good thing
for both them, and our staff.
By Ross Low
1July gave me and my team the opportunity to reflect
intensely on the first major milestone of the home
services reforms. While we never underestimated
the amount of hard work and resilience we would need to
implement CDC, the transition certainly gave reason for our
organisation to question our approach, our systems and our
processes in providing care to clients in their own home.
A key test was transitioning consumers who exceeded
the level of support funded by their former home care
package. Our staff worked with clients and family members to find
the best solution for our clients. Our care facilitators were on the
ground, equipped with conversation starters and resources to make
the discussions easier.
One of my most memorable moments was hearing of a client
who was receiving a two-person lift, twice daily, seven days a week.
With staff being one of our greatest expenses, we worked with our
client to purchase a ceiling hoist, which enabled him to remain at
home, manage his services within his budget, and gave him the
independence he desired.
To lower administrative costs, we reduced our office footprint
and mobilised our care facilitators to be in their home-based
offices. This allowed our facilitators to double the amount
of time they spend with clients in fulfilling their personal
Our staff now report higher levels of job satisfaction
and understand that by working closely in partnership
with the client initially, we can deliver a more meaningful
support plan that transforms lives and delivers on our
promise of 'care you can trust'.
We have developed IT systems that support integrated
budgets and centralised our intake and rostering,
streamlining the process for staff and clients alike.
Simultaneously, we took the time to evaluate the landscape from
a consumer's point of view. We felt that CDC was complicated, and
while it promoted consumer choice, in reality it was not easy for
them to access.
Our response was YouChoose, an easy-to-digest, consumer-
friendly CDC solution. We use plain and simple language for the
consumer, and empower our clients to receive care as individual
as they are.
Today, all 1,700 of our home care package clients have been
transitioned to CDC, and they are actively enjoying the benefits that
real consumer choice and control brings.
By Jeremy McAuliffe
From the outset we knew that CDC was designed
to provide better choice and control for clients,
and some have told us that this is now a reality.
CDC increased competition in the aged care space, and
this is a good thing for clients. We need to be offering
the best service in the marketplace, and our clients
benefit from this.
Organisationally, we've benefited from CDC because
it's forced us to operate at a higher level. We've improved
our internal processes, the
way we deliver services and
our client focus; and as a
result, we're better placed to
meet client needs.
We've faced challenges as
a business in understanding
CDC, how individualised
budgets work, and the impact
to our bottom line. We've
needed to develop and
execute strategies to ensure the business remains financially
sustainable, and these have touched almost every aspect of
For clients, the challenge remains simply understanding
what the changes mean for them. We've come a long way
in supporting clients to engage in CDC, and we've needed
to be innovative and creative in the ways we do this. We've
introduced technologies, such as our online client portal, to
help empower our clients and to enhance their control of their
aged care journey.
Handing power to consumers
Satisfied staff, empowered clients
It has been difficult at times because while it's new to
our clients and to us, it's also new to government.
CDC has brought with it a whole new way of doing
things, and adapting to change has been a challenge for
staff. We're talking about a huge cultural shift; moving
from being a traditional service provider, to being
more of a service coordinator. Staff are embracing the
changing nature of their roles, and our move to a more
business-focused approach. The majority of clients
have told us they are better off under CDC, and this can
only be a good thing for both
them, and our staff.
For us, CDC is about
giving clients the absolute
choice in how much or little
they want from us. While
we've seen about 70 per
cent of clients choose a fully
supported option, it's the
ability for them to choose
that is most significant.
CDC is significantly transforming the provision of services
and role of providers. We need to deliver the best bang for
buck. We need to provide a level of service that is above and
beyond, because otherwise, we'll fail as a business. We can't
assume clients will take us up on services just because they
always have, and we have to do away with the concept of
clients needing us.
Consumers have the knowledge and the power to pick and
choose; we need to make sure they are choosing us.
Jeremy McAuliffe is general manager of Benetas Home Care.
12 | AUGUST 2015
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