National coverage, local specialisation and tailored service are to be features of the new national Dementia Behaviour Management Advisory Service (DBMAS) to be provided by Dementia Support Australia (DSA), a consortium led by HammondCare.
Assistant Minister for Health and Aged Care, Ken Wyatt, today announced the three year appointment of DSA to operate the federally funded program starting from October 1, 2016.
In making the announcement, Minister Wyatt said HammondCare’s Dementia Support Australia consortium was selected after an open market process, including the engagement of clinical experts to assess applications.
HammondCare’s Chief Executive Dr Stephen Judd welcomed the announcement and said HammondCare looked forward to working with its partners to deliver an effective, supportive national service.
“Australia has an outstanding national approach to dementia support which is the envy of other nations. We are privileged to be part of providing this support to people living with dementia, their families, carers and care staff,” Dr Judd said.
“Our experience in running NSW DBMAS and the national Severe Behaviour Response Teams, along with the strength and experience of our partners, will enable DSA’s commitment to provide a DBMAS with a ‘boots on the ground’ approach.
“We will provide a nationally consistent approach, strengthened by a visible local presence, offering a tailored service for the person with dementia.”
Another aspect of DSA’s approach to DBMAS would be to intentionally build dementia capacity and knowledge across the sector through extensive sharing of advice and expertise.
“One of our key ambitions is that - through the course of this contract - skills, expertise and applied knowledge regarding ‘dementia behaviour’ become widespread across the sector, and not just the attributes of a few,” Dr Judd said.
Among those partnering with HammondCare in Dementia Support Australia are:
- Wintringham – Providing particular expertise in supporting people with alcohol-related dementia and transitional care for complex cases.
- Australian Regional & Remote Community Services (ARRCS) – Providing the service in the Northern Territory and Top End
- Blue Care – Supporting the service in Qld/northern NSW
- Aged Care Channel (ACC) – to be DSA’s knowledge and capacity building partner.
UnitingCare Queensland Group Executive Regional and Remote Services, Michelle McKay, said she was delighted that Blue Care and ARRCS were partnering with DSA.
“As one of Australia’s leading residential aged care, community care and retirement living providers, Blue Care is uniquely positioned to significantly contribute to the Dementia Behaviour Management Advisory Service in Queensland,” Ms McKay said.
ARRCS currently partners with DSA to provide the national Severe Behaviour Response Team in the Northern Territory.
“Both Blue Care and ARRCS look forward to working with DSA to build and share knowledge and skills about dementia support, so people living with dementia can receive tailored services wherever they live,” Ms McKay said.
Wintringham’s Acting Chief Executive Officer, Michael Deschepper, said, “we are eager to contribute our expertise in the care of people from backgrounds of disadvantage as part of this important national program.”
Access to DBMAS is available nationally through the 24-hours number - 1800 699 799, and online at dbmas.org.au.