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Rehab@DVA — Vol. 5 No. 1 — January 2019

Getting the best out of DVA's rehabilitation program

The Department of Veterans' Affairs (DVA) is committed to making our rehabilitation program the best it can be in supporting the needs of veterans and their families.

ORIMA Research, on behalf of DVA, is conducting a survey of clients at the closure of their participation in a rehabilitation program.

The survey provides an opportunity to rate the level of satisfaction with all elements of the rehabilitation experience including information and support provided by DVA, the process of engaging with rehabilitation providers and the effectiveness of services received and activities undertaken during rehabilitation. Respondents can also indicate their likelihood of recommending DVA's rehabilitation program to others and provide feedback and suggestions for improvement.

Participation in the survey is entirely voluntary, responses are confidential and respondents can choose to remain anonymous.

So far the results show:

  • around 80 per cent of respondents to date have been satisfied with their rehabilitation experience
  • more than three-quarters of respondents rated provider activities positively
  • over half of respondents rated the quality of service and support offered by their provider in preparing their rehabilitation plan as good or very good
  • medical coordination and assistance with self-management of health conditions are the most common types of services received under a rehabilitation plan, and
  • satisfaction with these services is generally high with more than half rating their experience as good or very good).

Respondents have rated the following attributes for rehabilitation providers as 'highly important':

  • understanding of client requirements
  • understanding of the assistance they deliver
  • provision of information and assistance.

There is still room for improvement:

  • nearly one in four respondents rated the closure of their rehabilitation as poor or very poor
  • some respondents experienced difficulty in getting sufficient information about the rehabilitation program
  • a number of respondents were not aware of some services which they felt may have been beneficial as part of their rehabilitation plan, and
  • approximately 40 per cent of respondents who received job search assistance suggested it could be improved.

Response feedback is a rich source of information that is already informing the development of nationally consistent processes for rehabilitation closures and the training of rehabilitation coordinators. Responses will continue to inform improvement in the rehabilitation program.

Rehabilitation Provider Improvement Project

A lady physiotherapist is manipulating the forearm of a female patientDVA is currently embarking on a transformation program with an aim of delivering better services to its clients through implementation of improved processes, systems and technology. As part of this transformation process, DVA has recently established the Rehabilitation Provider Improvement Project with the purpose of establishing the best possible rehabilitation program for veterans and their families. The intent of this Project is to improve effectiveness and efficiency in the way DVA manages its rehabilitation services, allow for alignment with industry best practice standards and build stronger connections between DVA, Defence and Providers to ensure positive client outcomes.

There are approximately 40 providers delivering rehabilitation services to clients on behalf of DVA. However, presently, there are no formal arrangements in place with regard to expected standards which makes it difficult for all relevant parties to either provide or receive a consistent level of service. This Project will initially enable DVA to establish a formal Agreement and service standards with its current Rehabilitation Providers. It will also provide clarification of the roles and responsibilities of DVA, its Delegates, and Providers. As the project progresses, DVA will be looking at establishing a more formal contracting arrangement for the provision of its rehabilitation services.

The Project is currently in its very early stages of planning, however, once it's up and running, DVA will engage with Providers to ensure the best rehabilitation program is achieved for its clients. Information and updates will also be disseminated through various communication channels including these Rehab@DVA newsletters and the Rehabilitation Provider Information Sessions.

Single Operating Model Project

DVA is currently undertaking a 'Single Operating Model' project for Rehabilitation Service Delivery functions in the Department. The aim of the project is to align internal processing procedures and supporting documents in the three DVA service delivery locations, being Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide.

The project will result in nationally consistent standard operating procedures, a nationally consistent training framework and the introduction of an accreditation process for DVA staff. A Quality Assurance Framework will also be established to not only ensure that the new standard procedures are being followed but to maintain a focus on continuous improvement activities.

The new procedures for DVA staff will roll out as they are approved, with the aim to have a Single Operating Model in place by the end of July 2019.

It is not expected that new procedures will impact the way Rehabilitation Providers currently provide services to DVA clients, however, it is anticipated that the new Model will make it easier and more streamlined for Rehabilitation Providers to work with DVA. If a new procedure does result in a change for the way providers undertake business, information will be provided by the Rehabilitation Programs team, including updated information available via CLIK.

Sharing Success

(Use on the links below to view the full version of success story)

Middle aged man in white shirt that has "Tour de Legacy Canberra - Adelaide 2005" writting.Simon Mills "Get it right, get it sorted, and get on with your life"

It can be challenging for Veterans to find out what services they have access to once they have transitioned to civilian life. In our latest rehabilitation success story, Simon shares his experience of life after discharge from the army, and of finding his feet after undertaking a rehabilitation program through DVA for a shoulder injury sustained during his years of service.

Simon offers sage advice to other transitioning Veterans on navigating the medical discharge and the DVA claim process to gain full value from DVA's services.

A message from our new Stakeholder Engagement Manager, Tania Morfey

Hi, I'm Tania, your new rehabilitation stakeholder engagement manager.

My role is to provide DVA's rehabilitation providers with a central point of contact, ensuring you get the same information at the same time on new policies, procedures, forms and other initiatives. There will also be an emphasis on quality assurance and feedback. This will support the rollout of the Single Operating Model.

What it won't do is replace the day to day contact that rehabilitation consultants have with DVA delegates on individual cases.

I have now made contact with each of the organisations that provide services to DVA clients to obtain key contact details and client information. Thank you to everyone for your timely responses. If for some reason, I have not connected with you, please email me as soon as possible at Over the coming weeks, I will be finalising a framework for provider engagement with a view to rolling it out shortly after.

I look forward to working with you in 2019.

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