A Liberal Nationals Government will deliver a massive $175 million expansion of home and community care and support for Victorians with chronic disease and other conditions who can safely be treated outside hospital in the comfort of their own home and in their community.
Many Victorians have to be admitted into a public hospital or have extended stays in hospital due to the limited availability of Hospital in the Home or equivalent care. Hospital in the Home helps patients, who can safely be treated outside hospitals, get back home to their loved ones but with regular visits and support from health care professionals.
Hospital in the Home enjoys bi-partisan support and Victorians are currently receiving a number of treatments in their homes such as dialysis, rehabilitation and palliative care. Our investment will increase the availability of those treatments and expand treatment to other areas for patients who are clinically recommended, such as infection management and complex wound care.
This will require dedicated 24-hour medical and nursing coverage, greater scale, increased priority for patients in home-based care and all reinforced with rigorous quality and outcomes measurement. Treating patients in their homes has been shown to increase patient and carer satisfaction and reduce readmission rates.
Our funding will ramp up Hospital in the Home to support an additional 6,000 patients each year, helping more Victorians to access high quality care in their home for acute and chronic conditions.
Further, there are over a million Victorians living with multiple chronic diseases such as cancer, arthritis, diabetes, heart or lung disease, many of whom are living in pain, are limited in their employment and regularly require medical and hospital care.
A Liberal Nationals Government will provide vastly increased support to help thousands of Victorians with complex health conditions to identify their needs, navigate their care choices and get appropriate treatment. We will help people to manage their pain, their health and their lives – rather than wait until things fall apart and they end up in hospital.
This funding will improve their health with increased access to GPs and community health services and reduced time spent in hospitals and emergency departments.
Successive Governments have trialled a range of chronic disease management initiatives. Labor’s HealthLinks: Chronic Care is a trial at 10 hospitals but with no additional funding.
A Liberal Nationals Government will make a genuine commitment to embed community and home-based chronic disease management as a core element of health and community health services across the State through funding and focus.
In summary, the Liberal Nationals Policy will establish:
- A ‘Home Hospital’, expanding, by up to the equivalent of 200 acute beds, Hospital in the Home services supporting an additional 6,000 patients each year discharged from emergency departments and wards or referred directly from nursing homes or GPs, who would otherwise be in hospital;
- Home visiting and community support services for up to 5,000 people per year living with multiple chronic diseases to help manage their diseases and prevent or delay hospital readmission;
- Enhanced support for young people with chronic disease transitioning from the Royal Children’s Hospital to adult services;
- New small grants for local chronic disease peer support groups, including online groups; and
- A state-wide plan for chronic disease management including approaches which prevent people from being admitted to hospital
With increasing demand for hospital services and increasing complexity in patient needs, ensuing high quality, accessible and responsive health services well into the future requires a strong network of acute hospitals as well as community health and home-based services for people who can be appropriately treated locally.
This policy commitment significantly expands the range of treatment options for Victorians with significant health needs and builds on Liberal Nationals commitments to build a new West Gippsland Hospital, new theatres and emergency department at Warrnambool Hospital and to make Australia’s largest investment in community based palliative care.