For some disability-related health supports you might need someone who is trained to deliver the support you need. For example, you might need someone who is trained to help you to eat safely or re-position you to prevent pressure areas and wounds. This may be someone such as a support worker or a physiotherapist.
Who will we fund to provide your supports?
There are some types of disability-related health supports only an appropriately qualified practitioner can provide. This could be a nurse or a qualified therapist.
For example, only a nurse can change a urinary catheter or teach a support worker to provide a feed safely using a percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy (PEG). If you need a specific person to deliver a support, we‘ll fund who is most appropriately able to do this.
Do we fund training for someone else to provide your supports?
Yes, for some disability-related health supports a support worker, family member or friend may be able to provide your supports. If someone else can provide your disability-related health supports they should be trained by a qualified practitioner.
For example, a speech pathologist can train a family member to help you to eat safely. Or a nurse can train your support worker to prevent pressure sores and wounds.
We’ll fund training for the person who will provide your supports. The person should:
- be trained for that task specifically for you
- have experience in that task
- be competent to provide the support.
Think about who you would like to provide your disability-related health supports. You may have some choices. We can fund their training, but this will depend on:
- your individual needs and the type of support to be delivered
- where the support is provided
- any rules your state or territory has about who can provide the support
- whether the support you need requires someone who has specific skills and qualifications
- whether the support is value for money compared to other options.
What is registered nurse delegation and supervision of care?
For some disability-related health supports a registered nurse may be able to train and delegate key tasks to a support worker or enrolled nurse. This trained worker would directly provide you with the support where they are competent in the task. This is called ‘delegation and supervision of care’. It allows a registered nurse to delegate nursing tasks to the most appropriately qualified person.
Can a disability-related health support be delegated?
Yes, some disability-related health support tasks can be delegated by a registered nurse to another worker. This means that a trained person, such as a support worker or enrolled nurse will complete the task for you, instead of a registered nurse.
If a family member, friend or carer can’t complete the tasks, we will fund a support worker or enrolled nurse to provide you with your disability-related health support.
How do we know what tasks can be delegated?
First, we’ll need to know if the support you need can be delegated to another person. If you’re about to leave hospital, we’ll get this information from your discharge plan or your most recent nurse care plan. These plans should be completed by your treating clinician or a registered nurse.
The discharge plan or nurse care plan should outline:
- what tasks need to be provided
- who is the most appropriate person to provide the care
- your individual needs
- the complexity of tasks
- any risks.
It is the registered nurse who must decide if a task can be delegated or not, as they remain responsible for the care being provided.
A registered nurse can’t delegate a task if your health needs are inconsistent or likely to change. Also, some tasks can’t be delegated and will need to be done by a registered nurse.
What remains the responsibility of the registered nurse?
When a registered nurse delegates a task they retain responsibility for the tasks being provided. Before a registered nurse can delegate a task to someone else, they must make sure the person is trained and competent to do that task. They must also be available for direct and indirect supervision of the person doing the task.
We’ll include enough funding in your plan for a registered nurse to complete the following delegation of care and supervision tasks:
- create a health assessment
- create a care plan and update as needed
- deliver training to support workers
- complete an assessment at different locations, such as a school or workplace, if needed
- ongoing supervision.
The registered nurse must also decide who the most appropriate person is to do a task. The nurse care plan should outline this. We’ll fund the most appropriate person to do the task, as outlined in the nurse care plan, or discharge plan.