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Thursday, 29 October 2009
Page: 1


Senator Cormann asked the Minister representing the Minister for Ageing, upon notice, on 13 August 2009:

(1)   What is the average time taken for Aged Care Assessment Teams (ACATs) to respond to and complete assessments for persons referred for admission to either residential care or Commonwealth funded community care in respect of: (a) Australia as a whole; (b) each state and territory; and (c) each team.

(2)   How successful has the ACATs emergency team pilot been.

(3)   Has ACATs emergency team pilot support been provided to all states and territories.

(4)   What is the total Commonwealth funding support for ACATs for each year from 2000 to 2009.

(5)   Has an evaluation of the additional Commonwealth funding been undertake; if so, is there any indication that these additional funds have improved service provision and timeliness of ACATs responses.

(6)   What is the current average vacancy rate of aged care facilities for each state and territory based on the latest data available to the department.

(7)   What is the current average vacancy rates for each state and territory based on the latest data available to the department for: (a) high care; and (b) low care.

(8)   For each year from 1997 to 2008, what were the average vacancy rates for each state and territory for: (a) all aged care facilities; (b) high care; and (c) low care.

(9)   Given the aged care industry has stated that vacancy rates have risen recently, is this statement correct; if so, why.


Senator Ludwig (Special Minister of State and Cabinet Secretary) —The Minister for Ageing has provided the following answer to the honourable senator’s question:

(1)   The average time from when a person’s referral to an Aged Care Assessment Team (ACAT) is accepted, and when the assessment has been completed by the ACAT Delegate for: a. Australia as a whole is 28.7 days; b, Each state and territory is at Attachment A; and c. Each ACAT is at Attachment B.

(2)   The ACAT emergency team pilot is known as the Mobile Assessment Support Team in NSW. NSW Health reported that: - 343 assessments were completed in the Northern Beaches, Central Coast and Richmond Valley Aged Care Assessment Teams; and - 171 assessments were completed in the Hunter Urban, Hunter Rural and Canterbury ACATs. The Queensland ACAT Rapid Response Initiative (ARRI) was funded from 1 April to 31 August 2009. Queensland Health has advised that data collation is not yet complete, however, it reports that 800 additional assessments were conducted under the project by eight participating ACATs and that these have had a significant impact on the waiting lists of those teams. In South Australia, the aim of the Rapid Response project was to reduce the wait-list of the Adelaide ACAT and the Adelaide Hills & Southern Fleurieu ACAT by 20% by 30 June 2009. This has been achieved and the project has been extended to 31 December 2009.

(3)   The Commonwealth has provided funding to each state and territory government as part of the COAG Aged Care Assessment Program (ACAP) Reform Agenda for activities to improve and strengthen the ACAP.

(4)   The total Commonwealth funding to the state and territory governments to operate the Aged Care Assessments Teams is: 2000-01, $37,880,000 2001-02, $39,929,000 2002-03, $42,971,132 2003-04, $48,259,001 2004-05, $52,930,000 2005-06, $55,461,000 2006-07, $64,831,719 2007-08, $68,361,000 2008-09, $72,331,000 2009-10, $75,534,000

(5)   No.

(6)   The average vacancy rates for residential aged care facilities in each state and territory for 2008-09 are shown in Table 1.

Table 1: Vacancy rates for residential aged care, 2008-09(a)

State/territory

Vacancy rate

NSW

7.3

VIC

8.4

QLD

7.4

SA

3.8

WA

5.8

TAS

5.7

NT

11.0

ACT

7.6

Australia

7.1

(a) 2008-09 data is preliminary and subject to revision.

(7)   It is not possible to calculate vacancy rates by high care and low care.

(8)   The average vacancy rates for residential aged care facilities in each state and territory from 1998-99 to 2008-09 are shown in Table 2. The introduction of a new payment system following the 1997 reforms means that the Department is not able to analyse data prior to 1998-99. As outlined in the response to question 7, the vacancy rates cannot be split by high care and low care.

Table 2: Vacancy rates for residential aged care, by state and territory, 1998-99 to 2008-09 (%)(a)

State/territory

1998-99

1999-00

2000-01

2001-02

2002-03

2003-04

2004-05

2005-06

2006-07

2007-08

2008-09

NSW

3.6

3.4

3.4

3.2

3.5

3.7

4.8

4.5

5.6

6.1

7.3

VIC

5.3

4.4

4.2

4.2

5.0

5.5

5.8

6.9

7.3

7.6

8.4

QLD

2.9

3.3

3.0

2.8

3.3

3.2

3.5

3.7

4.9

6.3

7.4

SA

2.6

1.9

2.0

2.0

2.2

2.4

2.3

2.3

2.3

3.0

3.8

WA

4.4

4.3

4.5

4.8

4.3

4.2

5.1

5.0

5.2

5.9

5.8

TAS

1.8

1.7

1.8

1.7

1.9

2.3

2.9

3.8

3.9

4.7

5.7

NT

--(b)

4.1

3.7

3.8

5.3

9.0

6.0

4.9

5.2

7.7

11.0

ACT

4.9

5.2

3.7

2.3

2.2

1.9

1.5

2.0

3.6

6.7

7.6

Australia

3.8

3.5

3.4

3.3

3.7

4.0

4.5

4.8

5.5

6.2

7.1

(a) 2008-09 data is preliminary and subject to revision.

(b) Reliable data for the Northern Territory for 1998-99 is not available.

(9)   The average national vacancy rate for residential aged care has risen between 2001-02 and 2008-09. The overriding dynamic in explaining the rising vacancy levels is the rapid growth in operational aged care places that has occurred over the same period. A total of 28,667 new residential aged care places became operational between June 2002 and June 2008. A fast rate of growth in places forces the vacancy rate to rise because it takes time for those newly created places or newly built aged care homes to fill up. A large release of places, or the building of a new home, is also likely to temporarily affect the number of vacant places in neighboring homes.

Attachment A

Waiting Times - Referral to Delegation Date

Location State Description

Mean (days)

New South Wales

32.4

Victoria

23.7

Queensland

34.6

South Australia

35.9

Western Australia

16.6

Tasmania

13.5

Northern Territory

23.9

Australian Capital Territory

24.4

Australian Total:

28.7

Attachment B

Waiting Times - Referral to Delegation Date

State : New South Wales

ACAT Description

Mean (days)

Albury

17.9

Bankstown

27.4

Bathurst

17.9

Bega Valley

15.9

Blacktown

28.9

Blue Mountains / Nepean

31.6

Camden / Cambelltown / Wollondilly

26.2

Camperdown

36.0

Canterbury

46.9

Central Coast

30.3

Clarence Valley

19.7

Coffs Harbour

23.1

Concord

23.4

Cooma

15.0

Dubbo

48.3

Eurobodalla

35.8

Far West

 

Goulburn

15.0

Hornsby / Ku Ring Gai

44.0

Hunter Rural

68.7

Hunter Urban

37.1

Kogorah

14.2

Lady Davidson

 

Liverpool / Fairfield

30.1

Lower Mid North

24.6

Lower North Shore

25.0

Macleay / Hastings

59.3

Manly Warringah

55.8

Milton / Ulladulla

27.8

Murrumbidgee

7.2

Narrabri

30.3

Northern Beaches

47.2

Northern Illawarra

31.8

Northern Tablelands / New England

28.7

Orange

19.8

Parkes

20.7

Penrith

24.6

Randwick / Botany

31.1

Richmond

41.5

Ryde

33.9

Shoalhaven

35.2

Southcare

31.3

Tamworth

25.9

Tweed Valley

39.0

Wagga Wagga

19.4

Waverly

44.5

Westmead / Auburn

28.2

Wingecarribee

22.5

Young

11.8

New South Wales Total :

32.4

Australian Total :

28.7

State : Victoria

ACAT Description

Mean (days)

Ballarat

13.4

Bendigo

21.5

Bundoora

31.3

Caulfield

17.7

Central East

19.8

Geelong

30.1

Gippsland

37.5

Heidelberg

25.4

Kingston

23.2

Mildura

12.7

Mount Eliza

27.0

Northeastern Metro / St Vincents

27.7

Northwest

21.7

Outer East

18.9

Shepparton

39.1

Wangaratta

19.4

Warrnambool

16.4

Western

24.2

Victoria Total :

23.7

Australian Total :

28.7

State : Queensland

ACAT Description

Mean (days)

Cairns

41.4

Central West

18.9

Fraser Coast

51.5

Gold Coast

15.1

Mackay

13.4

Mount Isa

32.3

Prince Charles Hospital

37.6

QE II

42.0

Redcliffe Caboolture

45.2

Rockhamptom

21.2

Royal Brisbane Hospital

22.4

Sunshine Coast

38.4

Toowoomba / Roma

33.9

Townsville

53.0

West Moreton

31.0

Queensland Total :

34.6

Australian Total :

28.7

State : Western Australia

ACAT Description

Mean (days)

Armadale

20.4

Bentley

20.5

Freemantle

19.8

Goldfields

9.4

Great Southern

26.2

Kimberley

18.5

Mandurah

12.4

Midwest

23.0

Osbourne Park Hospital

20.3

Pilbara

21.5

Royal Perth Hospital

10.6

Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital

12.0

Southwest

6.2

Swan

24.0

Wheatbelt - Narrogin

16.1

Wheatbelt - Northam

14.9

Western Australia Total :

16.6

Australian Total :

28.7

State : South Australia

ACAT Description

Mean (days)

Adelaide Hills and Southern Fleurieu

16.6

Barossa

40.4

Flinders and Far North

40.1

Kangaroo Island

6.6

Lower Eyre Peninsula

28.4

Lower North

24.8

Lower South East

18.4

Midnorth

17.3

Murray Mallee

22.0

Northern Area

39.6

Riverland

17.2

Southern Areas

42.8

Upper South East

15.9

Whyalla

33.3

Yorke Peninsula

32.3

South Australia Total :

35.9

Australian Total :

28.7

State : Tasmania

ACAT Description

Mean (days)

North

11.9

North West

18.8

South

12.3

Tasmania Total :

13.5

Australian Total :

28.7

State : Northern Territory

ACAT Description

Mean (days)

Alice Springs Urban

17.3

Barkely

19.8

Darwin

30.4

East Arnhem

16.1

Katherine

13.1

NT place holder

25.3

Northern Territory Total :

23.9

Australian Total :

28.7

State : Australian Capital Territory

ACAT Description

Mean (days)

ACT

24.4

Australian Capital Territory Total :

24.4

Australian Total :

28.7