Person centred care must remain focus as reforms cross health and social services

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

‘Australians using services across the healthcare and social services sectors may fall through the cracks as they try to navigate complex and interwoven systems,’ said Australian Healthcare and Hospitals Association Acting Chief Executive Krister Partel.

‘Vulnerable persons such as those requiring multiple and ongoing health and social support services or those transitioning between these services are likely to be at greatest risk of disjointedness of care,’ said Young People in Nursing Homes National Alliance National Director, Dr Bronwyn Morkham.

Based on the premise that the Australian healthcare and social welfare sectors are under-prepared to deal with rising rates of chronic disease, disability, and an ageing population, AHHA’s 20 October cross-sector care simulation in Brisbane tested policy initiatives at the interface between the disability, aged care, community and health sectors, with findings released today.

Sector leaders and innovators represented various players in Australia’s health and social welfare sectors, to simulate their way through three scenarios involving people with complex health and social needs, with the aim of developing recommendations to support greater integration, and person-centred care. Specifically, it considered the impacts of policies relating to Health Care Homes, the National Disability Insurance Scheme, individual funding packages in aged care, and hospital funding.

‘We challenged health and social welfare leaders, including academics, healthcare providers, insurers and consumers, to think about positive changes to develop better cross-sector care, and what became clear was the need for thoughtful and focused leadership in the national conversation about our health system,’ Mr Partel said.

‘Report recommendations emphasise the need for clear, defined and shared policy objectives to optimise outcomes for people requiring services across disability, aged and health sectors. Additionally, the report highlights calls for identification of policy and program alternatives to improve navigation of the sectors. There exists a need to consider examples of funding-by-outcomes and funding for results schemes for application in Australia to improve person-centred, effective and efficient care.’

‘Cooperation across all levels of government is necessary to improve system planning and co-design for a well-managed, coordinated and more flexible system that delivers the combination of services and care increasingly needed as a result of disability, the rise of chronic disease and an ageing population.’

‘Moving toward person-centred care is not a simple task, and doing so effectively will require significant collaboration between policymakers, practitioners, researchers, consumers and advocates. AHHA’s cross-sector simulation has added an important body of evidence as we work toward this goal.’

Visit for the cross-sector care simulation report.

The Australian Healthcare and Hospitals Association is the national peak body for public and not-for-profit hospitals, community and primary healthcare services, and advocates for universal, high quality and affordable healthcare to benefit the whole community.

Media Enquiries

Krister Partel

Acting Chief Executive 0413 308 806