LASA and other peaks recently met with SA Minister for Health and Wellbeing Stephen Wade to discuss ways of improving collaboration between the health and aged care sectors. A key focus was on where the two sectors intersect in aged care, community and acute healthcare settings.

There was consensus that all staff require a better understanding of  hospital admission and discharge processes. The Minister acknowledged a shared interest to minimise unnecessary hospital stays and support the older person to return to their place of residency.

The Minister suggested setting up a working party to identify best practice streamlining of the processes and systems required by all parties to work collaboratively. 

Also discussed was the increasing requirement on service providers to manage older people with challenging behaviours with dignity, while safeguarding the wellbeing and safety of all people.

The Minister advised that SA Health has developed standards for their facilities on how to support clients with challenging behaviours, which they will share with aged care providers.

Other issues discussed were: 

  • The inequity around the allocation of home care packages in SA which has a direct impact on the public health system. The Minister has advised the Commonwealth and this matter is being addressed.
  • SA Health is looking to address similar issues across the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) which has implications for residential aged care.
  • How to best share information e.g. an older person’s care plan between aged care providers and primary health without breaching privacy and confidentiality.
  • The SA Office for Ageing Well is seeking community feedback on the Ageing and Adult Safe Guarding Regulations 2019.

 Participants at the meeting included LASA Board Director David Panter (ECH), LASA State Manager SA-NT Rosetta Rosa and LASA Member Advisory Committee Chair Angela Littleford.

LASA will continue to engage with the Minister’s office and will take a leadership role in the working party being set up.

Members who would like to share their ideas on avoiding unnecessary hospitalisation of older people, or any of the issues mentioned above, are invited to contact Rosetta Rosa on rosettar@lasa.asn.au