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10.7.1 Provision of mattresses or beds through RAP
Beds and mattresses can be considered for provision under RAP where there is clear evidence of a clinical need for the bed or mattress as a medical aid. The RAP Schedule and RAP National Guidelines specify what beds and mattresses can be provided and guidance about the criteria that must be met for these items to be provided through RAP. Beds and mattresses should be provided through RAP if the clients holds a DVA Health Card. For Gold Card holders, there must be evidence of a clinical need for the bed or mattress and all of the criteria specified in the RAP Schedule and Guidelines must be met. For White Card holders, the clinical need for the bed or mattress must be due to the client’s accepted condition(s) or be able to be provided through the non-liability health care provisions. The RAP Schedule also includes hoists, bed blocks, bed raisers, bedside rails, bed sticks etc to assist a person to transfer in and out of bed safely.
RAP normally only supplies mattresses designed to reduce problems resulting from external pressure, friction or shear. An assessment by an appropriately qualified health professional, identified against the relevant item on the RAP Schedule, is required to determine the client’s clinical needs.
Adjustable beds are listed on the RAP Schedule. The RAP National Guidelines apply to these items. The additional criteria that must be met are outlined below:
- other assistive devices to improve bed mobility have been demonstrably ineffective;
- the entitled person requires a high level of nursing care within their home;
- the entitled person is either bed bound or requires extended periods in bed;
- the entitled person requires assistance with bed mobility and transfers; and
- the provision of an adjustable bed will allow the entitled person to be cared for in their home.
Pressure care mattresses
Pressure care mattresses are listed on the RAP Schedule. A pressure care mattress is an overlay, mattress or bed system designed to reduce problems related to relieving weight, changing positions or skin integrity issues. There are several types of pressure-care mattresses provided under RAP. These include:
- hollow core fibre overlays;
- alternating pressure overlays, mattresses and bed systems; and
- flotation mattresses and bed systems (dry and water).