Home | Aged Care Royal Commission | Council-run in-home aged care services axed in Vic
Port Phillip staff have recommended the council to cut in-home aged care services.

Council-run in-home aged care services axed in Vic

A Victorian council has decided to axe the in-home aged care services it provides to residents.

In a council meeting last Wednesday, the City of Port Phillip, in Melbourne, voted to end its in-home aged care services.

Around 650 residents rely on the services, which include domestic assistance, personal care, respite care, shopping assistance, property maintenance, and home modifications.

As a result of the decision, 45 Council staff would be made redundant, and services would be outsourced "to an accredited [private] provider from a panel approved by the Australian government".

Greens councillor Tim Baxter proposed a different resolution suggesting a delay of the Council's decision until August, and that they commission a report on potential options for delivering aged care services, but the proposal was rejected with a 6-3 vote.

Acting mayor Louise Crawford said it was a "difficult decision" to exit the services but said the residents would not experience any gap between the transitions.

"We have not made this decision lightly as we understand change can be challenging for everyone, and many clients have provided wonderful feedback about their Council staff," Ms Crawford told Aged Care Insite.

"Our staff will continue to visit them until arrangements with not-for-profit providers of their choice to take up these services have commenced.

"We believe this, and our unique new Community Connector role, will ensure the smoothest possible transition as well as establishing our Council as the first port of call for older people wanting trusted advice on how to navigate the entire, often complex, aged care system."

The council will adopt a "village model" which will fund a bus service for older people, social activities, some delivered meals, and other community-based services.

According to the Australian Services Union, 26 of 79 Victorian councils offer in-house aged care and home services.

Councils have been exiting the home aged care services due to the "significant Commonwealth Government changes".

It is now transitioning from councils getting a set amount of money through the Commonwealth Home Support Program to provide services based on how many older people need support to a consumer-directed model through Home Care Packages where funding is based on individual needs.

The government will roll the two programs into one by July 1 2027, after multiple delays in the commencement date.

Manningham, north-east of Melbourne, ceased services in November of last year due to the federal government no longer offering funding.

"To be eligible, Manningham would need to develop a competitive business that works across a larger geographic region and offers a more comprehensive range of services than is currently provided," a spokesperson said.

Manningham mayor Deirdre Diamante said the new model was beyond the council's scope and capability.

"Council has considered this issue very carefully and thoughtfully," Ms Diamante said.

"We want to do what is best for our community in the long term.

"We are not 'outsourcing' our in-home aged care services – the contract model is changing, and we have to respond to it."

The City of Port Phillip also said keeping the service would require developing new service-delivery models, which would cost an estimated $1.42m annually, increasing the program's cost by almost 200 per cent.

Chief of Council on the Ageing (COTA) in Victoria Chris Potaris said they were concerned about the potential impact the reforms would have on residents.

"Our concern is that older Victorians are going to be disadvantaged and struggle to ensure their vital care needs are met as providers, including councils, leave the space," Mr Potaris said.

"While the proposal is for external providers to take over the council’s aged care activities, this has proven to be an uneven process where it has occurred in other local government areas.

"This is the risk. If older Victorians struggle to access home care, especially before they need more intensive support, there is an increased chance of the kind of poor outcomes that these changes were meant to help stop."

Mr Potaris, however, welcomed the council's establishment of the community connector program.

"Councils need to be working with their local ageing populations so they can ensure they are providing the right information and services that can support people to age well.

"With Victoria’s population only ageing, this is an essential step."

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One comment

  1. I was using my council for maintenance now I need to find private provider who I can trust with work or fees
    I raise this issue with age care but they on ply worry about their ststs and with no results

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