The work of front line community aged care staff and the impact of a changing policy landscape and consumer-directed care

Mirela Prgomet*, Heather E. Douglas, Amina Tariq, Andrew Georgiou, Pauline Armour, Johanna I. Westbrook

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Community aged care in Australia is facing both challenges and opportunities with the introduction of consumer-directed care and its goal to provide clients with greater choice and control over their care services. Such policy changes impact not only aged care organisations, but front line staff who manage and deliver care. This study investigated the work of front line staff and their perceptions of the impact of a changing policy landscape. Focus groups were conducted with thirteen care workers and six case managers from one Australian aged care organisation. The data revealed valuable information about the: daily activities of front line staff; information exchange mechanisms facilitating front line work; management of clients and client relationships; and implications of policy and organisational changes on front line work and clients. Front line staff highlighted the importance of care coordination, communication and continuity of care delivery, all of which impact on client relationships and quality of care. For aged care organisations and policy makers, the findings identify important areas for consideration when making decisions about changes to community care, including the key role of front line staff in fostering client relationships, providing consistency and continuity, balancing the needs and expectations of clients, and providing support and advocacy of care options.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)106-124
Number of pages19
JournalBritish Journal of Social Work
Volume47
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2017

Keywords

  • Care management
  • Care working
  • Choice
  • Community care
  • Older people
  • Personalisation

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