THE future of some clients at an Ararat-based health service is uncertain due to changing funding models.
The Patricia Hinchey Centre is a day centre in Ararat which provides services for older people, carers, and other vulnerable people. It is part of East Grampians Health Service.
There are currently four different funding streams for clients attending the centre but one is due to cease in June 2020, directly impacting seven clients.
It is unclear what future funding will look like for those seven clients, some of whom have been with the centre for over 25 years.
To continue to attract funding for those clients the health service needs to renew its registration with the NDIS, which ceases from March 31, 2020.
East Grampians Health Service director community services Sally Philip said the health service is working with the federal government to seek an exemption from becoming a registered NDIS provider.
Volunteers explain their concerns:
"EGHS has requested from the Commonwealth Government an exemption from continuing as a Registered Provider of NDIS when our current registration expires at the end of March 2020," she said.
"This would allow us to continue to cater for seven clients who are long-term participants in the Patricia Hinchey Centre program.
"EGHS is fully accredited with the National Health and Safety Quality Standards and the Aged Care Quality Standards and has made the decision not to become accredited under the new NDIS Registered Provider requirements due to the significant amount of work required to become compliant.
"This decision will not impact on NDIS clients who wish to access services through East Grampians Health Services."
Volunteer Sherrie Hunt has been trying to contact Member for Wannon Dan Tehan about the issue but said she's had no response.
"The PHC Volunteers group sent a letter to Minister Tehan on October 9 and we have not received a reply," she said.
"As there are limited sitting days left for Parliament we request that Minister Tehan take some time to come to the PHC and see what the PHC offers clients and how losing funding directly affects these people."
Dan Tehan told The Ararat Advertiser he was "working with East Grampians Health Service to ensure the centre continues to operate and that all clients will be looked after", and he looks forward to a positive outcome.
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