The importance of good communication and concerns surrounding consumer-directed care were among the key points of discussion at Akolade’s Transfer of Care for Complex Consumers conference today.
The topics were covered during a panel discussion on what consumers expect from transfer-of-care services.
Victor Harcourt, principal at Russell Kennedy Lawyers, who was part of the panel, said a fundamental element of meeting consumer expectations in transfer-of-care services is ensuring that there is clarity in the information provided to the consumers from the outset.
“In the work I’ve done in this area for the last 20 years, when I’ve been asked to assist my clients – who are typically the approved providers – in terms of disputes that have arisen, we find that there is a lack of clarity or understanding on the part of the consumer or the resident at the outset,” Harcourt said. “that’s not necessarily anybody’s fault, it’s just the fact that we’re dealing with a very complex system.”
He said it was important that information be delivered through a variety of sources and that the information is clear and understandable, and added it may be worth repeating it more than once. “I think it’s important that the consumer experience, once they’re in the aged-care facility, matches up with the promises that are made at the outset,” Harcourt said.
Consumer-directed care dominated much of the discussion during the panel, with concerns regarding capacity for certain groups to make care decisions and the model’s ability to meet people’s needs high on the agenda.
Panellist Rosslyn Twarloh, senior social worker at St George Older Adult Community Mental Health, said: “The key concern around the model is the individual’s ability to negotiate that care package so that it meets their needs adequately as well as their hopes for re-ablement or returning to their previous level of care.”
Twarloh said the transition from hospital to a consumer-directed care package could be lengthy and complex. Those who don’t speak English as their first language or have a capacity issue might not have the skills to navigate it themselves, she said, adding: “Their family might not have the healthcare literacy or social care literacy to be able to negotiate that.”Do you have an idea for a story?
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