HACC service changes hands


HACC service changes hands

On the job: from left, South Gippsland Shire Council home and community care team member Sharon Spencer with client, Yvonne Gaunt.

SOUTH Gippsland Shire Council yesterday (Monday) released the name of the new provider, mecwacare, who will take over home and community care (HACC) services in the shire.
Council will cease to provide the service on March 31with the new not for profit provider starting on April 1.
All existing services including domestic assistance, personal care, home maintenance and modification, meals on wheels, meal services, individual social support and community transport will continue to be provided at this point in time.
Council advised the services will be similar in price and may even be slightly cheaper in some cases.
The change is a result of the Federal Government shifting how it provides support to people with disabilities, elderly and frail citizens and carers.
The new funding model will better cater for providers who are independent from local government.
Faith Page, council’s director of corporate and community services, said mecwacare, was carefully researched before being recommended to the Federal and State governments.
“We focused on quality, their hiring practices and their code of employing people, managing their staff and clients, because what was really important to council was there was continuity of service throughout the whole South Gippsland area regardless of how remote some of our clients might be,” Ms Page said.
“Over the next five weeks, we will be working with our clients, our staff and mecwacare to make sure that from the first of April everything is in place to make sure that everyone is cared for as best we can.
“On that note, I’d just like to mention our home and community care workers. They have continued to provide exceptional service to our most vulnerable residents throughout this period of change. I couldn’t be more proud of the professional manner in which they have conducted themselves. It’s a credit to them all.”
The new provider has indicated they would like volunteers to continue to undertake their current roles, if they wish to do so. More information will be provided at a volunteer meeting on Monday, March 4.
Ms Page said the council will be paying redundancy to all staff that are eligible and where possible redeployments will be made.
“Any staff that chooses to apply for roles with this organisation will have a good career and will be looked after, however mecwacare will be going through their own recruitment process. Recruitment has already started for field staff and office staff,” Ms Page said.
In Bass Coast Shire, Corinella resident Steven Gough addressed council’s community connection sessions recently, appealing to council to lobby the government to reconsider its position to withdraw from providing HACC services.
“There are those people who fall between what currently exists in terms of the HACC services and what is provided by the Federal Government and the National Disability Insurance Scheme,” he said.
“Predominately, these are people who haven’t reached retirement age and people who have some form of disability which is not visualised by your average person.”
Council’s HACC service ranges in basic support services to help people continue to live independently at home. It includes domestic assistance around the home, social assistances in town, nursing care, personal care, home maintenance, meals, transport and allied health.
Mr Gough felt council should continue to lobby for the service to Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt, as well as Bass MLA Jordan Crugnale.

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Posted by on Feb 26 2019. Filed under Featured, News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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