Service continuity and emergency support arrangements

Page last updated: 29 May 2018

In accordance with the ‘Service Continuity’ section of the CoS Programme Manual, CoS service providers must do whatever is reasonably necessary, at all times, to ensure their clients continue to receive CoS Programme services. If there is a risk that you are no longer in a position to deliver services for any reason, for example, due to a serious incident such as a natural disaster, you are required to work with your Department of Health Grant Agreement Manager to ensure service provision continues for your clients. 

Ceasing service provision

You must submit written notification of any plans to novate (also known as relinquishment) or withdraw services, to your Department of Health Grant Agreement Manager, at least six (6) weeks in advance of the planned cessation of service delivery. The Grant Manager should also be advised of the preferred new CoS provider who must be willing to accept the new additional client. The contact details for your Grant Agreement Manager can be found in your CoS Funding Agreement.

Transitioning out of services provision

You must develop Activity Continuity and Transition Out Plan within two months of commencing as a CoS service provider. The Transition Out Plan are expected to address any risks associated with being unable or unwilling to continue to deliver services, including in the event of a serious incident or an emergency.  

Emergency Management

As part of ensuring service continuity at all times, it is your responsibility to have appropriate business processes in place to coordinate and manage emergency situations that may unexpectedly arise or occur outside of business hours. Emergency situations may include where:

  • you may be unable to continue providing care for a client; 
  • the client exhibits challenging behaviours and requires behaviour management support
  • the client’s primary carer or guardian is temporarily unable to care for the client due to illness or medical emergency
  • a service is cancelled or a support worker does not show up to an appointment or
  • extreme weather events.

You are also expected to contact emergency services, where required, in the event of a critical incident (ie. ambulance, police and/or fire) involving the abuse, neglect or harm of a client.

For CoS Individual Support Packages (ISP) clients, their Service Agreement should also outline emergency support arrangements, including arrangements for emergency support outside of business hours. 

Respite services provided under CoS are complemented by access to unplanned short-term and emergency respite services currently provided through the Commonwealth Respite and Carelink Centres (CRCCs). CRCCs provide a link to carer support services and assist carers with options to take a break through unplanned short-term and emergency respite, based on priority and assessed need. Centres can be contacted by phoning 1800 052 222 during business hours or 1800 059 059 for emergency respite support outside of standard business hours.  

More Information

If you require further information or have any questions, you may also wish to contact your Department of Health Grant Agreement Manager directly during business hours. The contact details can be found in your CoS Funding Agreement.