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AT Practitioner news

SWEP Communique - SWEP Non-customised Assistive Technology Tender Outcome

22 December 2022

Dear AT Practitioners

We are writing to you to let you know that our current Supplier contracts for non-customised assistive technology, are due to expire on 31 December 2022.    

This year we undertook a formal procurement process, including a desktop and hands-on evaluation of over 500 pieces of assistive technology including manual wheelchairs, walking aids, scooters, three function beds, mattresses, pressure cushions, bathroom aids, hoists, specialised seating, rise recline chairs etc.   This involved engagement of three experts from our Clinical Advisory Panel to undertake the actual evaluation of products put forward by Suppliers.

SWEP Communique - Changes to Orthotics Quote Template

14 December 2022

Dear Practitioner

We have recently identified an error on our orthotics quote template.   Whilst it is noted on the template that warranty details are required, there has been no allocated area for this information to be entered. As a result, the quote template has now been updated on the website here

SWEP Communique - Convatec Product Range Up-date

21 November 2022

Dear Practitioner

Further to our communique dated 14 September, 2022 we are writing to apologise for errors made in our communication regarding the Convatec range of products, and would like to correct these in the points below:


  1. Convatec is NOT closing its business, rather, it is discontinuing a selected range of products. 
  2. Convatec is NOT discontinuing its GentleCath Glide intermittent catheter range, this range is still available for ongoing purchase and supply.


The selected range of products that has been discontinued by Convatec is attached here

As previously advised, we have comparative products available for discontinued items through Independence Australia.

SWEP Communique - Independence Australia Christmas Closure

7 November 2022

Dear Practitioners,

Please see flyer from Independence Australia with closure dates for the upcoming holiday period. To ensure pre-Christmas delivery of products for your consumer please make sure your orders are in before December 1st 2022.

Click here for flyer.

SWEP Communique - Changes to Home Modification Application Process

10 October 2022

SWEP has completed a review of how we manage home modifications applications and has recognised the current process using an approval in principle (AIP) model requires changing. We are therefore streamlining processes and documentation, to allow us to appropriately assess the request on receipt of application. 

We have worked with our Clinical Advisors and staff to review feedback received from practitioners and consumers which has resulted in the removal of the AIP model.  We acknowledge that the AIP process has added unnecessary layers of complexity for practitioners and SWEP in submitting and managing home modifications applications.

SWEP Communique - Additional Non-Recurrent Funding 2022-23 and 2023-24

1 September 2022

Dear Practitioners,

We are very excited to let you know that we have received additional non-recurrent funding for the 2022-23 and 2023-24 financial years.

Based on current demand trends, this means that we are now in a position to order applications for eligible consumers when all documentation is received at SWEP.

Over the coming months we will continuously monitor any change in demand trends for support through our programs and will let you know if there is any need to change this practice.

SWEP Communique - Product recall Hollister Urinary Drainage Bags

29 August 2022

Dear Practitioner,

SWEP have been advised by Independence Australia of a product recall for Hollister urinary drainage bags due to a leakage issue. There are certain manufacturing lots that are affected. Information on the recall can be found via the Hollister recall notice here.

SWEP Communique - Laryngectomy Consumables - pricing & quotes process update

21 July 2022

Dear Practitioners,

SWEP have been working closely with our Laryngectomy Consumables and Voice Aids suppliers to ensure we streamline the quote process for all stakeholders.  Laryngectomy suppliers have agreed to set pricing annually for our consumers.  

We are pleased to advise that practitioners will no longer need to source quotes from the suppliers and can now use the price lists and quote spreadsheets attached to our website https://swep.bhs.org.au/laryngectomy-consumables-program.php 

SWEP Communique - Additional VA&EP Funding

21 July 2022

Dear Practitioner,

We are pleased to advise you about additional funding we have received for the next two financial years. This funding is the result of a Whole of Government budget bid to continue to provide a range of supports for Victorians who do not meet the NDIS eligibility criteria, or where the NDIS cannot support a participant's outcomes with supports under the NDIS.

The additional funding will be targeted specifically for the consumer cohort seeking support through VA&EP who are aged under 65 years and ineligible for support through the NDIS.

SWEP Communique - Updated Information about the Proposed LCGP Operational Changes

23 June 2022

The current LCGP  operational policies will remain in place until further consultation work has been carried out. Given some of the feedback on the proposed change, and in line with the Department of Health, we will pause the implementation and further investigate any unintended consequences to ensure patient access to these garments is not adversely impacted.

Kind Regards
SWEP Leadership Team

SWEP Communique - Continence Program Catheter Packs

21 June 2022

Dear Practitioners

We are very pleased to advise that the Department of Health (DH) have approved changes to the available continence product list for consumers using catheters, to include inter-related Catheter Change Packs (Independence Australia Product code/SWEP Picklist code:  10000442).

Changes to the SWEP Operational Policies and inclusion of the Catheter Packs will be implemented from July 1, 2022 and these packs will be available to select for your consumer via the SWEP database.  

SWEP Communique - LCGP Operational Changes July 1, 2022

7 June 2022

In the 2020-21FY, the Department of Health (DH) provided additional funding for a term of four years to the Lymphoedema Compression Garment Program (LCGP). The objective of the additional funding was to increase access to an approved range of subsidised garments and the number of consumers supported.

Review of demand trends since the injection of additional funds has identified that the program has had a far greater reach for this consumer cohort and enabled introduction of an increased range of garments.


Through feedback channels, processes implemented have appeared to unfairly disadvantage consumers in relation to the funding they receive, based on the number of garments they need per limb or number of limbs affected. This has created confusion for consumers and placed extra administrative burden for Practitioners, Suppliers and SWEP staff and does not align with the overarching subsidy limits by equipment category across other Victorian Aids & Equipment programs.

SWEP Communique - Lymphoedema Portal & Application Tips

11 May 2022

Dear Practitioner,

SWEP is aware that some Lymphoedema Practitioners are still adapting to the electronic format used to submit SWEP applications.  

Within the SWEP portal there are some shortcuts which make repeat applications quicker, and practitioners have identified some hints and tips that are perhaps unique to lymphoedema applications.

SWEP Communique - applications for low cost items

3 May 2022

Dear Practitioner,

Last year SWEP implemented a new process for the management of 'low-cost' (<$250) applications, in order to eliminate waiting times.  This was to help alleviate the administrative burden for AT Practitioners, administration staff and provide faster access to much need low cost equipment.

The process has been working well, however we have identified an issue associated with the management of these  applications when submitted for multiple items i.e the application includes a 'high-cost' (>$250) and 'low-cost' item (<$250), (e.g. an application for a lift/recliner chair and low back utility chair).

SWEP Communique - Changes to The Standard for Lymphoedema Compression Garments & Practitioner Registration

29 March 2022

The SWEP eligibility requirements and credentialing Standard for Lymphoedema Practitioners (compression garments) has changed to support consumer access and choice, as well as to align with changes to the Australasian Lymphology Association (ALA) Accredited Lymphoedema Practitioner Program, and new competency standards that underpin ALA endorsed training programs.

SWEP Communique - Reissue Equipment FAQ

2 March 2022

What is 'SWEP reissue' equipment?

SWEP funded assistive technology is owned by SWEP where we have funded more than 50% towards the cost and the item is considered 're-issuable'.


When we are advised that a consumer no longer needs an item that is re-issuable, SWEP arranges collection of the equipment via our contracted Repairs & Re-issue Supplier, Chemtronics. 


The item then undergoes a 'viability assessment' to determine whether it is in good enough condition to be reissued to another consumer.

What is the SWEP reissue database?

Any items that are considered to be in very good condition and suitable for re-issue to another SWEP consumer are entered onto our reissue database.

SWEP Communique - Expression of Interest for Oxygen (adult) Clinical Advisor

28 February 2022

SWEP is seeking expressions of interest from Specialist Respiratory and Sleep Medicine Physicians, to join our expert Clinical Advisory Panel for our adult consumer cohort.

We are seeking highly experienced Specialist Respiratory and Sleep Medicine Physicians who prescribe oxygen for home use regularly and can demonstrate a minimum of 10 years' experience doing so.

You will be committed to the application of best evidence through the Thoracic Society of Australia and New Zealand (TSANZ) Clinical Practice Guideline, for Adult Domiciliary Oxygen Therapy (2014)1

SWEP Communique - Attachment notification issue

14 February 2022

Dear Practitioners,

Due to a recent 'glitch' in the SWEP database it has been brought to our attention that between the 3 - 11  February 2022, any applications that have had additional documents attached, have not generated a notification to the SWEP team.

SWEP Communique - Supply Issues: Bard Flip Flo Valve Bff20 13100010

8 February 2022

Dear Continence Practitioners

Supply Issues:  Bard Flip Flo Valve Bff20 13100010

We have been advised by our contracted Supplier, Independence Australia (IA) that they are having ongoing supply issues with the Bard Flip Flo Valve Bff20 13100010, with no confirmed ETA.

SWEP Communique - Expression of Interest for Continence Clinical Advisor

7 February 2022

SWEP is seeking expressions of interest from Continence Practitioners to join our expert Clinical Advisory Panel for our consumer cohort.

We are seeking highly experienced Continence Practitioners who prescribe continence consumables regularly and can demonstrate a minimum of 10 years' experience.

You will be able to demonstrate participation in activities that contribute directly to maintaining your clinical competence and expertise.

You will have the below registrations and experience;

  •  AHPRA registration as a general nurse
  • A graduate certificate in nursing,  


  •  Employed in a relevant specialty context relating to bladder or bowel dysfunction (e.g. employed as a Nurse Continence Specialist/ Continence Nurse Advisor / Urology Nurse/ Clinical Nurse Consultant (in a related context)


SWEP Communique - Expression of Interest for Speech Pathology Clinical Advisor

7 February 2022

SWEP is seeking expressions of interest from Speech Pathologists to join our expert Clinical Advisory Panel for our consumer cohort.

We are seeking highly experienced Speech Pathologists who prescribe voice aids & laryngectomy consumables regularly and can demonstrate a minimum of 10 years' experience.

You will be a member or an eligible member of Speech Pathology Australia and be able to demonstrate participation in activities that contribute directly to maintaining your clinical competence and expertise.

As a Clinical Advisor you may be required to;


  • Provide clinical support and validation of voice aid & laryngectomy prescriptions
  • Undertake clinical reviews as requested
  • Provide expert advice to the Chief Allied Health Officer specific to the voice aids & laryngectomy category 
  • Participate in projects as required (e.g. updating manuals, resources and education material)
  • Participate in Clinical Advisor Panel meetings (approx. 1 per year)


SWEP Communique - Practitioner Re-Credentialing

20 December 2021

Dear SWEP practitioners

As you are aware, SWEP uses a credentialing based process to acknowledge practitioner levels of experience and currency in a range of assistive technology and professional areas of practice.

What is re-credentialing?

Re-credentialing is the process of periodically reviewing and verifying credentials to ensure a practitioner continues to meet SWEP's requirements and standards applicable to one or more categories or areas of practice. This includes maintenance of roles, experience, mileage, currency, complexity and ongoing learning.

SWEP Communique - Reissue Scooters Available

22 November 2021

Dear Practitioner

Currently there are a number of four- and three-wheel scooters available in our reissue equipment pool.

If you have a current application with SWEP or are in the process of applying for a scooter we would encourage you to review the Reissue Database to see if one of the scooters would be a match for your consumer.

You can log into the Chemtronics database via this link: https://cabrini.technology/sc/ess.do  

SWEP Communique - Independence Australia advise on delivery prior to Christmas

10 November 2021

Dear Practitioner,

Please see below advice from Independence Australia our supplier of continence products.

Remember to order your products before 1st December 2021


Ensure you have everything you need this holiday season by ordering before December 1st.


Any phone or online orders placed after December 1st may miss out on pre-Christmas delivery.

SWEP Communique - COVID Positive Oxygen in the home

5 November 2021

Dear Practitioner,

The Department of Health has been working with the State-wide Equipment Program (SWEP) team at Ballarat Health Services to provide a centralised process for oxygen supply and ensure we have a secure supply chain. This will be available from Monday the 8th November 2021. This will support the discharge of Covid positive patients who may still require oxygen and can be safely managed at home in line with the Medium Severity Covid Positive Pathway.

The process will allow for central management of oxygen supply across the state to ensure equitable access in line with the Health Emergency and Preparedness Response principles.

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