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Rehab@DVA — Vol. 5 No. 9 — December 2019/January 2020

Program Management update


Provider Procedural Guidelines

DVA is continuing to release new and updated Provider Procedural Guidelines (PPGs) to support rehabilitation providers and consultants who deliver services for DVA clients. The following PPGs and accompanying Quick Reference Guides (QRGs) are now available on the DVA website:

  • Vocational Rehabilitation PPG and QRG
  • Vocational Assessments PPG and QRG
  • Contract Management (PPG only) - updated

PPGs and QRGs are available on the Rehabilitation Service Provider page on the DVA website. As they are continuously being reviewed and improved, please ensure you access them directly from the webpage so that you are always referring to the latest version.


Stakeholder Engagement Manager (SEM) Update – Peach Reid

As most of you will be aware, I have been acting as the DVA SEM over the last few weeks, while Angela has been off-line and working in another role. I’ve appreciated the opportunity to act in this position, as it has not only been interesting and challenging, but it has allowed me to build stronger connections with you, the Rehabilitation Providers. Thank you to everyone for being patient with me, and being flexible with these temporary changes.

With Christmas fast approaching, I wanted to let you know that DVA will be closed from 12:00pm Christmas Eve 24 December 2019 to 1 January 2020 inclusive. This means that the SEM inbox will not be monitored during this period.

There will also be a slowdown on registrations from mid-December 2019 to mid-January 2020, so if you have new consultants coming on board, please ensure you get their registration forms to DVA by 18 December 2019 so they can be processed before shut down. Otherwise, the registrations process will be back online from 13 January 2020.

Thank you everyone for such a great year. Both Angela and I wish you a safe and happy holiday break!


Contract Manager Update – Peach Reid

As you are aware, it’s also been very busy in the contract space over the past few months, particularly with the development and introduction of a suite of new contract management documents and processes. In November, DVA commenced a one month Provider Quality Report trial. I look forward to receiving all of your reports, which are due this Friday 13 December 2019. I will be in touch in the New Year with next steps for this process.

November was also the month I sent out advice that DVA intended to vary its Deed of Agreement. Significant thought went into drafting this variation, given DVA did not want to alter its original intent, requirements or expectations, but instead make it clearer, more concise and structured. As the final Deed of Variation was sent to you a few days ago, this is a gentle reminder that signed copies are due back to the REHAB.CONTRACTS@dva.gov.au inbox by 16 December 2019.

In December, DVA developed and released the Contract Management PPG. This document is intended to clearly articulate the approach DVA intends to take in managing its contracts, and relationships with Providers. This relationship is central to the delivery of rehabilitation, and clarity only helps. The accompanying QRG will follow shortly.

As we continue to build a knowledge bank, the opportunities for continuous improvement will become apparent. Thank you again for all of your support and timely information over the last few months and I look forward to catching up with you in 2020!


Rehabilitation Services Section

The Rehabilitation Support Team became a permanent fixture in the Rehabilitation Services Section since the completion of the Single Operating Model, and have commenced Quality Assurance (QA) activities to embed the published Standard Operation Procedures (SOPs) among the three state based teams.

The QA program has completed its third month and so far identified areas of successful compliance as well as topics for targeted training.

All states have now transitioned to the national mailbox rehabilitation@dva.gov.au with an established administrations team ready to direct emails to the relevant team member and respond to client queries, register rehabilitation cases and undertake record keeping. The defunct “RCG” email addresses have been decommissioned and all providers are kindly asked to direct their emails for delegates to the address above.

Rehabilitation delegates have been engaging with all published SOPs and PPGs so that they may make decisions and move forward with the most up to date information.


CLIK Rehabilitation Policy Library – improving policy information

In the March 2019 edition of Rehab@DVA you were advised about the project to improve rehabilitation policy information. This project has now commenced, so this is the first in a number of updates, which will share the progress of the project.

The first phase of the project consisted of much of the ‘behind the scenes’ work - determining a revised structure for the policy library after collaborating with colleagues and commencing the review of current content. Three sections of policy have now been piloted, and further sections will be reviewed in a staged approach.

The second phase of the new structure, including policy repositioning, is underway. DVA anticipates the old CLIK content will be replaced by shortcuts to the new sections in CLIK following the publishing of each new section.

When published, each section of the policy library will be presented in a consistent way. With the publication of new provider guidelines, and the development of support for delegates under the Rehabilitation Single Operating Model, procedurally focussed information will no longer be reflected in the policy library content.

We will provide updates at key milestones of the project followed by a complete update on the new structure once the work is completed. We will endeavour to ensure disruptions to the rehabilitation policy information available in CLIK are minimised.

If you have any feedback or areas of concern that you would like this project to consider, please email REHAB.SERVICE.PROVIDERS@dva.gov.au, subject: CLIK REVIEW.


Rehabilitation Provider Information Session

DVA held its third and final Rehabilitation Provider Information Session for the year on 14 November 2019. This session included:

  • an update from the Stakeholder Engagement Team including information on DVA’s expectation of setting quality SMART goals and the current online Provider Education Training;
  • an update on the changes to the Rehabilitation Appliance Program (RAP);
  • information on the DVA Assistance Dog Program; and
  • an update from ORIMA regarding the 2018-19 DVA Rehabilitation Client Satisfaction Survey.

Minutes from the session can be accessed on the Rehabilitation Service Provider page on the DVA website.

The next session is scheduled for Thursday 20 February 2020 and will be run via videoconference at DVA state and regional office locations across the country.

For any enquiries please email REHAB.SERVICE.PROVIDERS@dva.gov.au


AT-Ease and Open Arms – Stronger Together

Open Arms – Veterans & Families Counselling (Open Arms) is Australia’s leading provider of high quality mental health services to current and ex-serving ADF personnel and their families. As part of their commitment to improving the services offered to clients, they have recently integrated the successful AT-Ease initiative into their suite of services.

For those of you who are not familiar with the AT-Ease products, they include five websites, four mobile apps (Op Life, High Res, PTSD Coach and The Right Mix), a suite of booklets, brochures and other resources that can support veterans and their families to live well.

This means the Open Arms website is now the ideal place to go if you have questions that are unique to the military experience or you just want to learn more about how to improve the health and wellbeing of veterans and their families.

The updated Open Arms website also features more resources specifically for family members and will be updated regularly with case studies, webinars and fact sheets to support wellbeing. On top of all this, you’ll still find information on all the services offered – such as individual counselling and group programs.

Open Arms is also in the process of reviewing their group programs and educational workshops to ensure the information shared is current and best practice. Group treatment programs focus on addressing mental health problems commonly experienced within the veteran community using evidence based treatment within a group format. This includes programs such as Doing Anger Differently, Recovery from Trauma, Understanding Anxiety, Managing Pain, Sleeping Better, and Beating the Blues.

Educational workshops focus on suicide prevention or on skill-building to promote resilience. The suicide prevention workshops are for individuals wanting to learn how to recognise that someone is struggling and how to assist them to seek support.  The workshops conducted by Open Arms include Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST), Suicide Alertness for Everybody (safeTALK), Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) and ASIST Tune-Up.

The resilience and skill building workshops are particularly useful for veterans and families during transition periods in their lives and include ‘Stepping Out’, parenting, stress management and mindfulness workshops, as well as half day information sessions on chronic pain, anger, managing anxiety and recovering from trauma.

The Open Arms group program and workshop calendar is planned six months in advance and the most recent version can be found at Open Arms - Get support. If there is enough interest in a specific area additional workshops can be organised.

If you want to talk to a counsellor, or find out more about our services, Open Arms’ free and confidential telephone line is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week by calling 1800 011 046.


Veteran health check - DVA provides Veteran Health Checks for all former-serving Australian Defence Force (ADF) members.Veteran Health Checks are an opportunity for veterans to access a comprehensive health check with a General Practitioner (GP). Early intervention and targeted referrals can help you enjoy better health outcomes and manage your health during transition to civilian life.

Veteran Health Checks for all former ADF members

DVA understands that staying on top of your health can be a challenge, especially when schedules are jam-packed and it seems like there are a lot of other priorities to attend to. We might notice that we’re not feeling as fit as we used to be, haven’t been getting much sleep or have a lot on our minds. While sometimes we can get back on track pretty quickly, other times we may need some extra help from a doctor or other health professional.

To support veterans after transition from the Australian Defence Force to civilian life, there is a One-off Veteran Health Check available for all former members of both the permanent and reserve forces, accessible at any time. Veterans can access this even if they are not a DVA client, using their Medicare card (Medicare rebate available). Additionally, if members leave the ADF from 1 July 2019, they can gain access to fully-funded Annual Veteran Health Checks every year for five years after transition.

Annual Veteran Health Checks are accessible with a DVA Veteran card. 

Depending on when you left the Australian Defence Force (ADF) you may be eligible for one or more Veteran Health Checks:<br />
- all former ADF members are eligible to access the One-off Veteran Health Check with a GP<br />
- If you left the ADF from 1 July 2019, you are also eligible for an Annual Veteran Health Check every year for the first five years after you transition.

More information about the Veteran Health Check, including eligibility and answers to frequently asked questions, can be found on At-Ease.

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