Attendant care provider guidelines
These guidelines should be read in conjunction with our General provider guidelines.
We can help fund attendant care for eligible clients to assist their rehabilitation and maintain activities of daily living. Attendant care services may include physical assistance or prompting with personal care such as showering, dressing and eating and assistance with therapy programs developed by health professionals. It may also include support to access the community for activities such as shopping, banking, employment and education.
We consider the need for attendant care services on a case by case basis. Support services are tailored to the individual, delivered in the right place at the right time. They enable clients to participate in valued social and economic roles and to live as independently as possible. We expect all disability support providers to uphold the principles of person-centred practice and to support clients in a manner that maintains their dignity, privacy and wellbeing.
Who can provide attendant care?
We can help fund disability service providers to deliver individual support to clients in their homes, in supported accommodation settings and in the community. Service providers must adhere to our Attendant Care policies and employ support workers who meet the minimum care standards specified in our Independent Review against Quality Standards (IRQS).
What we can pay for
We can help pay the reasonable cost of attendant care services, with approval, when required as a result of an accepted transport accident injury.
We can help pay the reasonable cost of attendant carer travel when accompanying a client to a transport accident injury related hospital, medical or rehabilitation appointment. Our approval is required before travel can be paid for a carer.
The agency will need to submit a Support Plan that details the attendant care program expected to best meet the client’s individual support needs.
We can help pay for daytime support for clients who require active provision of attendant care that is classified as:
- Personal care: physical assistance with daily living tasks, as directed by the recommending occupational therapist/other allied health professional. Includes the provision of domestic services by the attendant carer in downtime between provision of personal care.
- Therapy support: assists the client to actively participate in goal directed home or community based rehabilitation activities where the support is necessary to achieve specific goals and outcomes. Therapy support is documented in the client's Support Plan, and will be revised as required by a treating health professional.
- Community access: assists and supports the client to undertake community activities, as directed by the recommending occupational therapist.
We can help pay for overnight support for clients who require attendant care for a period of 8 consecutive hours, covering the usual sleeping period of the client in their home or an approved location. It comprises either:
- Active overnight support: an overnight attendant care shift where an attendant carer is required to provide active assistance or support to a client.
- Inactive overnight support: an overnight shift when an attendant carer is present, but not required to actively assist or support a client. The inactive overnight support fee includes one hour of active support (not necessarily provided consecutively) for the attendant carer to undertake manual tasks associated with the client's care such as assisting with toileting/continence issues, managing physical issues such as spasms and pain and turning and repositioning clients.
We can help pay for on-call service, a remote service for clients who require a low level of care during the day and/or overnight, but do not require an attendant carer to be constantly present, and/or sleep over in their home.
This service comprises two components: the monitoring service and the attendant care service. The monitoring service will contact the client when a call is triggered, to establish which of the following calls will be made to provide appropriate support:
- Contacting the client's nominated contact person, such as a neighbour or family member, or
- Arrange a call-out for an attendant care service, to provide personal care – such as personal hygiene – within a 30 minute period, or
- Arrange for an emergency services response (such as police, ambulance or fire).
We can help pay for shared support, an attendant care service provided to two or more people – at least one of whom is a client – at the same time or as part of a small group. Shared support can be for a one off event or for regular attendance at a community group/recreational activity.
This service may be provided:
- when two or more clients requiring attendant care services live together
- where there is a particular activity that more than one client can engage in together, such as a concert or holiday
Training for attendant care support workers
We can help pay for training for an attendant care support worker if a client requires tailored support above the minimum care standards specified in IRQS and the training is not general in nature, such as familiarization with the client’s care plan.
We take into consideration a range of factors to determine if a training request is reasonable including:
- the recommendations of treating health professionals
- the type of training and frequency
- the number of carers, including group training and hours required
- options to deliver the training, for example face to face, carer manual, video
IRQS minimum training requirements for support workers
Service providers are responsible for ensuring support workers meet the following minimum requirements and for ensuring that competence in these requirements is maintained over time.
- First aid - anaphylaxis
- Food safety
- Infection control
- Manual Handling
- Australasian Fire and Emergency Services Authorities Council (AFAC) Fire Safety Awareness Training
- Administration of medication
- Understanding Abuse – Zero Tolerance
Requesting training for an attendant care support worker
Client specific training for attendant care support workers is usually requested by a member of the client’s treating health team. Whilst service providers and clients may request training for attendant care, it must be supported by clinical evidence from the client’s treating team.
How often will the TAC fund training for attendant care support workers?
We will work with providers to ensure training is reasonable and reflects the client’s needs. Frequent requests for training that are not in response to a change in a client’s health status or care needs, such as high staff turnover, may be an indication that the client’s care program is not optimal and should be reviewed.
In some instances there may be a need for more frequent training of attendant care support workers to ensure they have the appropriate skills to support clients. For example, to apply positive behaviour supports for clients in line with behaviour support plans or when new equipment or requirements are introduced for clients with complex or changed health conditions.
Who can deliver training for attendant care support workers?
Training is usually delivered by a member of the client’s treating health team, such as an occupational therapist, speech therapist or neuropsychologist. In some cases clients may have a detailed care manual or behaviour support plan containing key training material or guides. Clients and their treating health team may also prepare demonstration videos as an adjunct to these guidelines.
The Program Establishment Fee
We provide funding to service providers when establishing a care program for a new client. The funds assist in the recruitment and induction of attendant care support workers to their employer as well as development of care plans and rosters. It does not include client specific training.
Other things to note
If your client has a severe injury, the discussion, referral and approval of services may form part of the independence planning process between the client's treating team and our TAC coordinator.
If your client already has an individualised funding package, attendant care services may be included as part of that.
How much we can pay
We can help pay for services in line with our Attendant care fees.
What we cannot pay for
We cannot pay for:
- shadow or supernumerary shifts
- personal or incidental expenses, including meals
- attendant care services for a person other than the injured client
- general training to meet the minimum requirements of IRQS provider registration
- training that is not specific to the needs of the client
- training that is not approved by us prior to being conducted
- training that is not supported by clinical evidence