At the Council of Australian Government meeting in December 2008, the WA Premier and the Federal Minister for Health and Ageing, Nicola Roxon signed an agreement for $48.6 million for the improved delivery of subacute care services under the National Health Partnership Agreement.
As part of the agreement, WA has committed to a 20 per cent increase in subacute care services over the period 2009-13. The areas of subacute services that have been targeted for growth under the Agreement are:
- geriatric evaluation and management
- psychogeriatric care
- palliative care.
Growth in subacute care services will occur across the state, with a focus on geographical areas where services are minimal or undeveloped. A key strategic direction of the Plan is to encourage a shift from subacute care services delivered in the inpatient setting to the ambulatory care setting.
There is a particular focus on:
- geriatric evaluation and management in day therapy settings and services provided through day therapy units
- Rehabilitation in the Home (RITH) and community physiotherapy services
- a rural and remote geriatric physician visiting service
- a stronger focus on psycho-geriatric care for elderly people, particularly in regional locations
- a Statewide Clinical Training Unit for specialist rehabilitation, geriatrician, psycho-geriatric health professionals and allied health staff.
A key outcome in WA will be a targeted approach to improving data collection in the subacute care setting, with a concentrated effort on collecting better data in the non-admitted care setting.
To progress the delivery of the services a number of working groups are being established to promote the best use of the funding. The working groups are a mix of clinical experts, area health service planners and health professionals involved at the service delivery level.
Executive support for the Subacute Care Plan is provided by the Aged Care Policy Directorate. For further information please contact ACPD@health.wa.gov.au.
Dr Robyn Lawrence
Innovation and Health System Reform
Aged and Continuing Care Directorate