LASA has welcomed today’s Government commitment of 6,105 extra Home Care Packages (HCP) and a new date for the Royal Commission report but says a detailed strategy is required to reduce the HCP wait time to three months.

Aged Care Minister Richard Colbeck announced the immediate rollout of 6,105 Level 1, 2 and 3 packages.

“We recognise the Government’s commitment of 50,000 new Home Care Packages since 2018 but Level 4 packages are also critically important,” LASA CEO Sean Rooney said.

“The queue for approved packages remains concerning and some of the wait times for high-level home care are over a year and even up to two years. There is an increasing demand for home care and there must be significant continuing investment to reduce the national waitlist and meet the needs of older Australians.

“We are committed to working with the Government to map out a detailed strategy, to reduce the HCP wait to three months.”

LASA also welcomes news that the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety will report on 26 February 2021.

“With many recommendations expected in the final report, the timing is positive because it will allow the Government to consider policy and funding changes ahead of the May Budget,” said Mr Rooney.

“We understand and welcome the revised Royal Commission reporting date. It makes sense to extend the reporting timeline as this process is too important not to get right. Given the many coronavirus challenges faced this year, both by the aged care sector and the Royal Commission; this is a most reasonable extension.”

Mr Rooney said LASA’s engagement with the Royal Commission would continue.

“As an industry that looks after more than 1.3 million Australians, we are committed to continue working through the Royal Commission process during its final months. This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to realise the high-performing, respected and sustainable age services sector that our country needs.

“At the same time, it is critical to sustain the care of older Australians right now – and more support is needed from the upcoming October Budget.”

Contact: Nick Way 0419 835 449 nickw@lasa.asn.au