This is the final report of an independent review for the Department of Veterans’ Affairs of the capability of its Veterans’ Home Care (VHC) Program and model to continue to meet the needs of veterans1 in terms of quality of life, independence and health, in particular, maintaining independent functioning within the home environment. It is not a review of the way that VHC currently operates. The purpose is to identify options for the future. The central strand of inquiry within the review has been to pose and seek answers to the question ‘Does the VHC Program (as it is currently constituted) meet the changing needs of the VHC client population, which is ageing, becoming more frail and increasingly demanding both higher level services and additional services not currently available through the program?’ Two examples of this changing demographic are the average age of VHC clients, now 83 and a greater representation of females, in particular war widows. The outcome of the review is a set of options, set out in Section 5, on possible future changes to the VHC Program. The goal is to ensure that the VHC Program, as part of the broader health and community care system, is capable of delivering specified quality of life, independence and health outcomes that respond to the changing patterns of veteran need. These options have been informed by an analysis of a wide range of data/information sources (outlined below), extensive and in-depth stakeholder consultations, the findings from previous research and the findings from an evaluation of the outcomes currently achieved by the VHC Program. The review has involved a series of related steps, which aim to evaluate the way that the program operates currently and to predict the impact of current and future demographic trends on the level and type of resources required to serve the veteran community in the future. Available databases, a literature review, previous VHC review documents, and program guidelines have been analysed for relevant information. Veteran participants and service and program-level informants have been invited to fill in surveys and/or be interviewed, attend focus groups and respond to key questions and the findings of the review process and draft reports. The five review inputs have been: 1. Demographic data; 2. Demand and utilisation data; 3. Reports of previous internal and external VHC Program reviews; 4. The findings of an international literature review; and 5. Stakeholder engagement and consultation. Further details on the methods used can be found in Section 2. The results of the review are then set out in Section 3 (beginning on page 12). These results are followed by a discussion of key findings in the context of options for the future (Section 4, page 51). The final section, Section 5 (page 57), sets out options for the future. Volume 2 of the report contains five appendices. Appendix 1 provides a summary that compares VHC and other Australian Government funded programs. Appendix 2 contains an extensive literature review. It covers the academic, the practice and the policy literature. This includes a summary of existing program documentation and previous reviews. Appendix 3 outlines the 1 References to ‘veterans’ in the context of this review should be read to include war widows/widowers unless otherwise stated. Centre for Health Service Development Page ii Options for the future of Veterans’ Home Care – Final Report technical methods and the assumptions that have been used in making projections about the future demand for VHC. Appendix 4 provides the results of a national survey of veterans and war widows. Finally, Appendix 5 provides the results of a national survey of VHC service providers.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/keagar/25/