This paper reports on the development of a Priority of Access tool for Home and Community Care services provided by local governments in the Western Metropolitan Region of Victoria. Managing the demand for these services requires an equitable approach to service allocation decisions. The Priority of Access tool was developed with input from Western Metropolitan Region local government HACC representatives and the Department of Human Services. A literature review identified indicators of need that predicted use of community services; however, no substantial contributions were identified relating to prioritising access to health services in the home. The tool developed relies on cross-referencing responses from the Service Coordination tools developed through the Victorian Primary Care Partnership initiative. A pilot was conducted with assessment staff and their feedback led to modification of the tool. Staff found the tool a useful method of increasing objectivity in assessments and providing a framework to consistently determine priority. The importance of training in the use of the tool was reinforced during piloting of the tool. The Priority of Access tool provides a simple and consistent, yet comprehensive, approach for Western Metropolitan Region local government HACC services to equitably determine priority of access for clients.
Australian Journal of Primary Health,
Vol. 9, no. 1 (2003), pp. 78-87