Year in Review - ACNA

The 2017 financial year was one of exploration for Access Care Network Australia as we sought to evaluate our effectiveness and improve the way we operate to ensure the support we give our clients is best practice.

We completed an evaluation of our active assessment methodology coupled with reablement strategies which identified significant savings for both Federal and State Governments at no impact to client outcomes. This resulted in the method being mandated for all Western Australian Regional Assessment Services (RAS).

We also continued to develop our staff, with three elective units either released or in development for RAS organisations and Aged Care Assessment Teams (ACAT) to continue to enhance their reablement learning.

In Australia, more than two million people are carers, providing unpaid care and support to family members and friends. Last year, we commenced a project to identify if there is any correlation between carer strain and the functional or health status of the person they are caring for. The results will help us develop further training to enable assessors and our carer respite team to take a reablement approach to supporting carers.

In New South Wales, we were involved in a project run out of the Westmead Emergency Department called RACE (Rapid Access to Care and Evaluation). During the pilot, Westmead saved $400,000 in hospital admissions, which not only resulted in the project being nominated for a Western Sydney Local Health District Quality Award, but also being embedded in our ComPacks program at Westmead Hospital.

We quickly discovered that ACNA has a great deal to offer participants of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), with the expansion of our service offering to Support Coordination exceeding expectations.

Our role is to support NDIS participants to use their voice and allocated budgets to achieve their goals. This includes strengthening their capacity to self-direct and manage their budgets, to understand each party’s responsibility and to resolve problems or issues that arise. We look forward to expanding our support coordination as NDIS continues to roll out across the country.

Finally, I was awarded a Churchill Fellowship to study the implementation of reablement overseas. Whilst I learnt a great deal which will help us to improve the way we support our clients, I was also pleased to be able to share information about the Australian system and our operating models.

The trip reinforced the work we are doing in the reablement space and the approach we take using evidence to inform our service design is truly helping us to achieve Silver Chain Group’s vision to deliver world’s best health and aged care.