Home support provider Access will subcontract some work to
Mosgiel Abilities Resource Centre (Marc), the only provider
under the new regime to undertake subcontracting.
Wellington-based Access chief executive Graeme Titcombe said
the organisation's tender to the Southern District Health
Board included the subcontracting.
Marc is one of 17 existing providers, which will reduce to
three from next month after a controversial health board
decision that eliminated Presbyterian Support Otago (PSO).
Marc was expected to provide about 80,000 hours of home
support work a year under the arrangement.
Access had also bought Dunedin Home Support Services, in a
bid to build its southern workforce, Mr Titcombe said.
''We just believe this is a more efficient way of getting a
transition [of workers].''
Mr Titcombe warned the new bulk-funded regime did not
guarantee pay rises for care support workers.
Access paid carers between $14 and $16 an hour. Carers
received 30c a km for mileage to attend clients' houses. The
Inland Revenue Department's recommended mileage rate for
reimbursed employees is 77c a km.
''I have spent the last 10 years of my life fighting through
the New Zealand Home Health Association for funding to
increase support workers' wages. This, in itself [a change of
service model], isn't going to increase them,'' Mr Titcombe
''Yes, wages are deplorable. You're not going to see a sudden
increase just because we've changed the model.''
However, it was hoped bulk funding enabled increased use of
technology, which could improve efficiency and allow pay
increases, he said.
Mr Titcombe said Access and Healthcare NZ would initially
carry out most of the rural work while Australian-owned Royal
District Nursing Service New Zealand (RDNS) established
itself in the South.
''From a provider point of view, it is also dearer to deliver
in the rural [areas], so we would expect [RDNS] to take a
share of the rurals over time.''
The three providers are expected to work together closely to
develop the new ''restorative'' service.
Information on the health board's website shows RDNS will
provide services in Dunedin, Invercargill and western and
northern Southland. Clients have been transferred to new
providers but can switch at the end of the transition period
on July 1 if they choose.
Access is expected to take PSO's 64 Community First clients,
the most fragile group of clients affected by the change.
''Our intent is to disrupt the clients as little as possible.
''We would like as much as possible to have the same support
workers come across from Presbyterian Support and some of
their supervisory staff as well,'' Mr Titcombe said.
An RDNS spokesman contacted in Australia by email declined to
disclose carer pay rates and did not reply to emails asking
whether New Zealand and Australian carers would have pay
Healthcare NZ said in a statement it was offering
transferring carers the same terms and conditions they had
with outgoing home support providers, but the statement did
not respond to questions about pay rates.