New Program Increases Community Care, Reducing Hospital Stays

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11th May 2010, 11:17pm - Views: 1131

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The Hon Alan Griffin MP

Minister for Veterans’ Affairs

Minister for Defence Personnel


Tuesday, 11 May 2010 



The government will deliver improved health care for veterans and war widows and reduce

unnecessary hospital stays through a new $152.7 million investment announced in the Budget.   

The Preventable Admissions and Improved Community Care Program will increase community-

based support for veterans and war widows who have chronic conditions and complex care

needs and are at risk of hospitalisation.

The Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, Alan Griffin, said that new payments would be available to

Local Medical Officers (LMOs) to better coordinate and oversee health care for veterans and

war widows targeted by this new initiative. The government expects up to 17,000 veterans will

benefit from the initiative.

“This initiative will provide real support to members of our Second World War generation in their

twilight years.

“In many cases, there is no need for someone to end up sick enough to go to hospital. There is

evidence that many of these stays would not be needed if there was better coordination of care

and support for them in the community.

“Being admitted to hospital can be very stressful, especially for older patients. This program

aims to reduce unnecessary hospital stays by focusing on better community-based care and

helping with the self-management of chronic conditions,” Mr Griffin said. 

This announcement builds on the firm relationship that already exists between veterans and

their LMOs. LMOs will receive new payments for preparing and implementing care plans,

including coordinating care for veterans participating in the initiative. 

A practice or community nurse will support the veteran including:

coordinating appointments with other health professionals involved in their care 

providing an appointment reminder

undertaking home visits

assisting with medication management and treatments 

assisting the patient to self-monitor his or her condition.

The new program will target those with one or more of up to five chronic conditions. These are

congestive heart failure, coronary artery disease, pneumonia, chronic obstructive pulmonary

disease and diabetes. 

As part of the package, $28 million will be spent on an expansion of the Veterans’ Home Care

Program to introduce a new service to target older, more frail veterans most at risk of

unnecessary hospitalisation.

“This will increase home-based services for our frailest veterans to try and keep them healthier

so they can spend more quality time at home and less time in hospital,” Mr Griffin said.

Media inquiries: Sasha Nimmo 0437 863 109

DVA General inquiries: 133 254

The VVCS – Veterans and Veterans Families Counselling Service can be contacted 24 hours a day, seven days a

week on 1800 011 046.

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