The Government announced the establishment of a My Aged Care Regional Assessment Service (RAS) for Aged Care on Thursday 1 April 2015.
The RAS will be a national assessment workforce operating at a regional level in all states and territories (except Victoria and Western Australia) from 1 July 2015. Its purpose is to identify a person's aged care needs for home support services.
In recent months the Department has undertaken a competitive tender process to engage the RAS. A large number of high quality applications were received and thirteen organisations have been selected to deliver assessment services nationally (except Victoria and Western Australia).
The vast majority of Regions will operate with between two and four assessment services, to ensure an appropriate capacity level to effectively support the population and help to achieve diversity and overlap.
In addition, most contracted organisations have formed consortia relationships across a large number of specialist organisations offering assessment capability for indigenous populations, culturally and linguistically diverse populations, people with dementia and other special needs groups.
The establishment of a standardised assessment process and the engagement of an independent RAS will improve the consumer experience and address concerns about system complexity and difficulty in accessing services.
The RAS will also develop goal oriented, person-centred client support plans and provide short term case management of vulnerable clients to assist them to access services. These activities will assist clients to return to a level of functionality and independence so they can continue living independently in the community.
There is an early implementation site in Victoria commencing from Mid-April that will help inform the My Aged Care Operations commencing on 1 July 2015. The Department will continue to consult with the sector as the Regional Assessment Services are established in readiness for the changes commencing in July.
More information, including fact sheets, is available on the Department of Social Services website.