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What is the Commonwealth Home Support Programme?

The Commonwealth Home Support Programme's (CHSP) stated objectives are to deliver timely, high quality entry-level support services, taking into account individual goals, preferences and choices, to help frail older people stay in their homes as long as they can and wish to do so.

The CHSP commenced on 1 July 2015 when the HACC program ceased, however existing HACC clients will continue to be supported under the CHSP.

Existing HACC services will be offered three-year funding agreements under the CHSP until 30 June 2018. An additional year of funding has been confirmed to allow CHSP and Home Care packages to merge to create an integrated at home package from 2018.

The exception to this is case management and care coordination services which are being provided by Regional Assessment Services (RAS) from 1 July 2015. Clients outside the scope of the CHSP will be supported during the transfer to other appropriate services.

The Commonwealth Home Support Programme brings together the:

  • Commonwealth Home and Community Care (HACC) Program
  • National Respite for Carers Program (NRCP)
  • Day Therapy Centres (DTC) Program
  • Assistance with Care and Housing for the Aged (ACHA) Program.

What has changed for healthcare providers?

Healthcare providers will need to have updated business processes within their local health districts to facilitate new referral pathways, manage the transition of existing clients, implement a fees framework and maintain a centralised client record via My Aged Care.

NSW Health is working with local health districts to support them through the transition period.

Does the introduction of the Regional Assessment Services (RAS) mean CHSP service providers no longer undertake assessments?

Since 1 July 2015, the Regional Assessment Services have commenced undertaking assessment for access to CHSP. Clinical assessments, however, are still an important part of CHSP service provision.

These assessments include:

  • service level assessment activities such as work, health and safety (for both care workers and clients
  • specialised clinical assessment based on professional expertise (e.g. Nursing and allied health and therapy services; risk of malnutrition assessed by meal providers).

What has changed for clients?

Following 1 July 2015 all client and carer requests for care are directed through the My Aged Care gateway. The My Aged Care Contact Centre will ask the prospective client a number of questions as part of initial screening to identify their level of need and will refer them to a face-to-face assessment. For clients with low level support needs that could be met by CHSP, the assessment will be conducted by Regional Support Services (RAS).

For existing HACC clients, there should be no noticeable change to the service they receive beyond becoming more empowered to work in partnership and make decisions about their care through a wellness approach.

To implement a wellness approach, staff will need to adapt their approaches towards clients, to do ‘with’ rather than ‘for’.

Wellness resources and training materials are available on the tools and resources page, and in the Living Well at home: CHSP Good Practice Guide.

Timeline for transition

Since 1 July 2012, the Commonwealth has had policy and funding responsibility for people over 65 and the State has had corresponding responsibilities for people under 65. People aged over 65 will be transitioned to CHSP, while those under 65 with disability will have their care gradually transitioned during the introduction of NDIS reforms.

A printable version of the full HACC and CCSP transition timeline illustrating changes for the older and younger cohorts is available.

Key tra​nsition steps for providers Provider activity

​Establish new CHSP Grant


​Letters received from Cth mid-2015 outlining agreement process and next steps

  • ​My Aged Care Regional Assessment Service (RAS) started 1 July 2015
  • Funding for HACC assessment, case management and client care coordination services ceased 30 June 2015 as these functions are taken up by the RAS.
  • ​Refer potential clients to My Aged Care contact centre (1800 200 422) if approached directly.
  • Seek advice from My Aged Care if client appears to need immediate support.

​1 November 2015 - Commencement of new CHSP grant agreement

  • ​Comply with requirements outlined in grant agreements, supporting documents, including CHSP manual.
  • Progressively deliver services within a wellness framework.

What will the referral pathways look like under the CHSP?

Currently local health districts implement a range of referral pathways. These vary from a centralised community health intake system, a centralised intake at a facility level, direct referral to a specific HACC service or a combination of these processes.

From 1 July 2015, service providers will need to revise their referral pathway process to ensure all referrals for CHSP go through My Aged Care from screening, assessment and referral to local health district CHSP.

The CHSP Sub-Programme Framework outlines the specific service types funded under each sub-programme.

NSW Health is developing guidelines for referral processes for CHSP clients to support local health districts to transition their referral processes. NSW Health has developed workflows to assist local health districts to review service pathways prior to and during the transition period.

Please note - Some referral pathways for other service types will not change and instead will need to be preserved by providers, for example ComPacks, Community Care Support Program (CCSP), post-acute nursing and allied health.

CHSP fees policy framework

The Commonwealth recently confirmed they will not proceed with a mandatory fees policy, opting instead of a fees framework outlining principles providers can adopt in setting fees. After the framework is released post-July, the Ministry of Health will provide further advice to LHDs around implementation.

More information

For queries about transitional arrangements or information on the effects of Commonwealth Aged Care reforms in NSW in your LHD, please contact your NSW Health Aged Care contact.

For further resources on the transition, please email agedcare@doh.health.nsw.gov.au

Current as at: Thursday 27 April 2017
Contact page owner: Aged Care Unit