A shift in the way both consumers and providers think will be a key component to ensuring CDC success.
Consumer Directed Care is not just a new model for delivery of Home Care Packages, it requires a change in mind-set by both providers and consumers to ensure a more flexible partnership is established. Providers and consumers will need to work together to ensure clients do indeed have more control and say in the delivery of their support than previously. The shift is from a provider controlled service delivery where the consumer’s problems are the focus of services delivered, to one that is consumer directed, where consumers are actively involved in the process to identify their strengths, values, life goals and the support needed to overcome any barriers to achieving them.
The development of respectful and balanced partnerships between consumers and Approved Providers (AP’s), which reflects the rights and responsibilities of each party, is absolutely crucial to consumer control and empowerment. (Adapted from the Home Care Guidelines)
Ensuring the home care package is relevant to their needs will require clients to discuss more fully what is important to them with case managers, family, friends, and supporters. They will need to develop a support plan for how to achieve those things that will make life easier, more worthwhile, gives them as much independence as possible and enables them to stay connected to the wider community, while remaining in their own home. Clients will have more control over their budget to choose their types of services and which provider they use to deliver them and when. For clients to make informed decisions, it will be important for them to keep up to date with information from their provider and other sources, to have easy access to their budget and the expenditure of their package funding, and to monitor their quality of care.
For providers to deliver a service which is both flexible and responsive, one that genuinely puts the customer at its core, they will need to stay in touch with their clients’ needs on a personalised basis, keeping them informed about available services, their budgets and service deliveries. Greater transparency will be a key feature of the success of CDC. Providers will need to build internal capacity to adjust to the changes through supporting and guiding staff with the transition, providing appropriate staff training, developing new processes, new reporting systems and embracing new technologies. They will also need to build a competitive advantage, one that differentiates them and provides perceived value for money by their clients. Some ways this can be achieved are through developing new services, targeting new markets, and embracing a consumer focused culture and engagement that is articulated by case managers, general staff and marketing.
Preparing for Consumer Directed Care (Part 2)
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