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The Department of Health is seeking applications from eligible organisations to deliver the National Aged Care Advocacy Program from 1 July this year.

It is funding up to $25.7 million from 1 July 2017 to 30 June 2020 for the program, which could either be delivered by a single national provider or one provider in each state and territory.

The National Aged Care Advocacy Program provides free, independent, confidential advocacy support to older people (including their families or representatives) who are receiving or seeking to receive Commonwealth-funded aged care services.

The program is currently delivered by nine different organisations that are funded through the National Aged Care Advocacy Program (NACAP) and the Commonwealth Home Support Program (CHSP), though the new provider/s will work within a new National Aged Care Advocacy Framework.

The Minister for Aged Care, Ken Wyatt AM, said feedback from the aged care sector is helping to shape how advocacy services can better empower people to exercise choice and control within the aged care system, to help those who are ‘lost in the system’.

“Late last year, we asked key aged care stakeholders for their views on an early draft of the Framework and received more than 30 submissions from advocacy providers and peak organisations representing consumers, aged care providers and special needs groups,” Minister Wyatt said.

“The National Aged Care Advocacy Framework is a key finding of the recent review of Commonwealth aged care advocacy services.

“The Framework will support the successful advocacy provider or providers from the current open funding round to deliver high quality advocacy services that are more consistent and streamlined, through the redesigned National Aged Care Advocacy Program.”

“I welcome the important feedback from stakeholders which has informed this stage of the development process, and many of the views put forward identified the need for the Framework to be flexible so it can meet local needs and adapt to future aged care reforms.”

“The groups also raised other matters for further consideration and we will continue to work through these matters with successful providers and key stakeholders as part of this process.”

“I want to thank everyone involved for their submissions because their work will make the National Aged Care Advocacy Program stronger and provide better support to older members of our community who seek their help.”

“We will continue to work with the successful provider or providers from the National Aged Care Advocacy Program open funding round and other key stakeholders to finalise the Framework.”

Applications are due by 31 March 2017.

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