Quick Steps to manage your workforce for outbreak preparedness
In light of the recent localised COVID-19 clusters, Providers in affected areas should consider what action they can take to reduce the risk of an outbreak at their facility.
It is not uncommon for residential aged care workers to work across multiple sites and in different roles. The Australian Government does not require workers to work at only one site but is continuing to monitor the situation in aged care. It is important for Providers to be aware of staff mobility and workforce needs in each of their facilities and take action to reduce the risk of unintentionally spreading COVID-19.
To minimise risk and prepare for a single site workforce model (in the event this is required), Providers may wish to create an employee register that records which employees work across multiple sites/settings, or live with someone who does, what role they perform, how many hours and what shifts they perform with each employer and which employer provides the most hours on a weekly or fortnightly basis. This will ensure Providers are well-placed to identify which parts of a facility and which roles staff can work across as well as surge workforce needs in the event of an outbreak.
While these arrangements are not mandated at this time, in the event the situation changes, workers and providers can access additional resources through the Support Hub website.
For further information go to: www.supporthub.agedservicesworkforce.com.au or
call 1800 491 793 Monday to Friday 8:30 am to 5:00 pm
Clinical Support & Guidance Service
ACSA and LASA are pleased to offer Clinical Support & Guidance Services to assist residential aged care providers implement the Guiding Principles for residential aged care – keeping residents and workers safe. This includes phone support to navigate through the changes as they impact on the delivery of clinical services and assistance for providers to build capacity and confidence, ensuring clinical monitoring, oversight and governance is sustained for safe and effective quality care.
Employee & Industrial Relations
The Guiding Principles for Residential Aged Care aim to improve health and safety outcomes of consumers and staff by building a framework which assists in limiting the movement of staff between providers and sites. Managing the relationship with your employees can be challenging at the best of times and the Principles may throw a few more challenges into the mix. The Employee Relations Support Service is in place to assist you in navigating and implementing the Principles and managing any Principles-related employment issues as they arise. ACSA and LASA will support you through our dedicated team of experienced Employee Relations Advisors.
This supplier register is intended to be a handy resource to assist providers access information, products and services that may assist through the implementation of the Guiding Principles. The register will be regularly reviewed and update to ensure it is fit for purpose and contains information, products and services that are relevant in supporting providers implement and operationalise the Guiding Principles
Business Advisory Service for Aged Care Providers (BAS)
The Business Advisory Service (BAS) program was launched on 15 October 2019 with funding of $7.411 million until 30 June 2021. BAS is provided by PricewaterhouseCoopers, and offers free independent business review and advice to providers on ways to improve their business management and financial strategies.
Providers can seek support across the following areas (but not limited to):
- Human resources and workforce planning
- Budgeting and forecasting
- Costing and pricing of services
- Cash flow management
- Risk Management
- Sales and marketing
- Investment management
- Property and asset management
Support is provided across two Tiers of service:
- Tier 1 – up to 5 business days; desktop review
- Tier 2 – up to 9 business days; more in-depth support including a site visit; however due to COVID-19, this is currently done by video or teleconference.
BAS is available to residential care and home care service providers, including local government providers.
BAS prioritises providers at risk from financial stress such as providers operating in rural and remote locations and smaller providers.
Further information about the program including how to apply and frequently asked questions can be found on the website
Business Improvement Fund for Residential Aged Care (BIF)
In January 2020, the Australian Government made available up to $42.93 million in grant funding over two financial years in 2019-20 and 2020-21 to assist residential aged care providers in financial difficulty and with limited access to financial support.
The fund provides financial assistance to eligible residential aged care providers with limited access to other financial support.
There are three streams of grant funding:
- Business Improvement – supporting a provider to go through a process of business improvement
- Sale of a Facility – supporting the sale of the residential aged care facility to another provider
- Closure of a Facility – where no other options exist, supporting the orderly and safe close down of a residential aged care facility.
The fund prioritises small to medium sized providers (generally less than seven facilities) in regional, rural and remote areas.
For more information, and to submit your application form, refer to Grant Opportunity GO3410 on the GrantConnect website.
Any questions about the program can be sent to: firstname.lastname@example.org
To assist and act as a conduit to facilitate provider cooperation to respond to workforce shortages. The Support Hub will assist with connections to other providers (members and non-members), labour agencies and other suppliers.