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Talking Point – Community Based Support committed to helping most vulnerable

Feb 09, 2023

Our services have adapted to the reforms within the aged and disability sector, writes Allyson Warrington

There is no doubt emerging from the COVID-19 pandemic there are continuing challenges in the aged care and disability sectors. At Community Based Support, we provide a range of aged care and disability support services for more than 2,000 clients in the north and south of our wonderful island.

The federal government has already signalled that it is prepared to invest further into the NDIS, which is significant for the vast range of stakeholders and providers across the industry. The recent royal commission into aged care has also created major and much needed reforms. The reality for all of us in the aged care and disability sectors is that there is now more pressure to adhere to stricter compliance regimes, which is also needed.

At Community Based Support for example, we have increased the number of risk compliance officers by two. We must ensure we are managing the risks, that we are compliant with new federal requirements and that our service delivery and reporting are absolutely correct, transparent and we are accountable. We owe that to our clients.

Unfortunately, especially for the clients involved, we are seeing major providers within Tasmania and interstate making decisions to leave the sector or have the need to make changes to existing services. The recent closure of Manor House in Kingston is a case in point. Community Based Support is now working with Respect (formerly Masonic Care Tasmania) to transition their clients across to us. Ultimately, it is the client’s choice as to the provider they have. All providers, at all times, despite difficult decisions being made have the interests of clients at our centre. We will do all we can to collaborate with the outcomes of our community members front of mind.

Community Based Support has four community hubs in the north and south of Tasmania – at Huntingfield in Kingston, New Town, Cygnet and Riverside, in Launceston. These are places where our clients from across the whole community can come together on a daily, weekly or whenever suits basis. At all four centres they can meet with friends, do various arts and crafts, read a book or go on regular day trips in their regions.

At Huntingfield, we are now operating respite, with three hospital grade beds for our clients. It was something that our clients expressed an interest in and we have been happy to oblige. While in respite, clients are cared for by Community Based Support’s highly-trained support workers. We are fielding calls for respite for many different reasons. Family members who are full time carers need a breather from time to time. Sometimes clients themselves want a break and need a different environment for a short period of time. The Huntingfield Respite Hub can be used by existing Community Based Support clients and members of the general public.

Our clients are able to facilitate the beds via their respective funding programs – NDIS, Home Care Packages, Commonwealth Home Support Program (CHSP) or as a private client at market rates. Over Christmas, one client stayed with us for six nights, which was beneficial to both them and their family.

We are continually looking at how we can expand our services to meet the needs of the most vulnerable members of our community.

Allyson Warrington is chief executive officer at Community Based Support.

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