Minister Fifield visits the Benetas Customer Centre
22 May 2015

Minister Fifield visits the Benetas Customer Centre

As part of our commitment to being a voice for older people in the community, Benetas has been undertaking a number of recent advocacy activities following the release of the Federal Budget in May.

This included welcoming Assistant Minister for Social Services, Mitch Fifield, to the Benetas Customer Centre in Mitcham in late May.

Minister Fifield met with some of our clients who may be affected by possible changes to the way home care services are funded.

In a further step towards individualised funding for home care recipients and to facilitate even greater client choice and control, it is proposed that Home Care packages will be allocated directly to consumers by the My Aged Care Gateway rather than to service providers through the Aged Care Approvals Round as of February 2017.

If approved, the My Aged Care Gateway will be responsible for prioritising clients’ access to packages at the regional level within the number of packages allocated through the planning ratio. This will enable aged care recipients to receive services from their provider of choice and will also enable them to change providers if they are not happy with their services.

Benetas CEO Sandra Hills said the organisation welcomed the changes.

“As a sector, we keep talking about giving consumers ‘choice’ and ‘control’. For clients to have true control over their services, they must have control over the funding, so the move to individualised funding is imperative,” said Ms Hills.

Ms Hills said that Benetas would continue to prioritise understanding and acting on the concerns and needs of clients and their families.

“We want our clients to shape the way we deliver our services, to make sure we are hitting the mark,” said Ms Hills.

“We need to know what our clients want and how we can support them to meet their goals.”

“We are excited about the next stage of reform and believe that if aged care providers truly place the customer at the centre of their service provision, the next stage of reform where the consumer has greater control over their funding, will simply flow naturally.”