Under a CDC package providers have the same duty to comply with the responsibilities imposed by the Aged Care Act and the Principles as required in the delivery of a Non-CDC package. Clients also have the same rights and responsibilities for CDC packages as Non-CDC packages as described in the Charter of Rights and Responsibilities for Home Care under the User Rights Principles
The Charter of Rights and Responsibilities for Home Care under the User Rights Principles provides, relevantly, that each care recipient has the right to:
a) have his or her individual preferences respected;
b) full and effective use of all human, legal and consumer rights, including the right to freedom of speech regarding his or her care;
c) be treated without exploitation, abuse, discrimination, harassment or neglect;
d) receive reliable, coordinated, safe, quality care and services which are appropriate to his or her assessed needs;
e) receive care and services as described in the plan that take account of his or her other care arrangements and cultural, linguistic and religious preferences; and
f) complain about the care and services he or she receives, without fear of losing the care or being disadvantaged in any other way.
The purpose of the CDC Conditions is to give clients ownership of decision making for their CDC package. The CDC Conditions give the client the right to determine the level of involvement they want in managing their package, which could range from involvement in all aspects of the package, including co-ordination of service providers, to a less active role in decision-making and management of their package. This means that a client’s choice as to who provides services under their CDC Package will depend on the agreed level of control in their Home Care Agreement.
A key feature of the CDC Conditions is that the client must have ownership of decision-making. The provider has an obligation to ensure that the client, in partnership with the provider, drives the care planning process. Throughout the process, the provider must place an emphasis on the client’s choice and control.
The CDC Condition requires that the provider must, wherever possible, try to accommodate the client’s preferences. The CDC Conditions specifically address that this includes, where possible, that the provider must sub-contract or broker services in-line with the client’s wishes.
The message in the legislation is that consumers must have their needs and wishes recognised by government funded providers. Government funded providers cannot, therefore, run interference in order to frustrate the preferences as expressed by consumers.