Friday, November 14, 2014

The NDIS, Quality and Safeguards

Many of you many have heard about changes to funding of disability services in the ACT and nationally.

You might have heard the term NDIS which stands for National Disability Insurance Scheme or the NDIA which stands for National Disability Insurance Agency (the Agency implementing the NDIS).

So what is the NDIS?

Here is some information from the NDIS FAQ page
The NDIS is a new way of funding individualised support for people with disability (including psychosocial disability) that involves more choice and control and a lifetime approach to a person’s reasonable and necessary support needs.
It will focus on early intervention, recognising that timely support can minimise the impact of a disability. It will provide assistance at the right time, rather than only when people reach crisis.
If you are able to access the Scheme, the National Disability Insurance Agency (the Agency implementing the NDIS) will work with you to:
  • Discuss your individual goals and reasonable and necessary support needs;
  • Develop an individual plan that will help you achieve your goals;
  • Consider the supports needed to strengthen family and informal caring arrangements; and
  • Connect you to mainstream services and community supports.

What are the access requirements?

To access the NDIS you need to meet the access requirements, which means you must:
  • Have a significant and permanent disability that affects their ability to participate in the community and employment and they require care and support, or could benefit from early intervention requirement.
  • Be an ACT resident.
  • Be under the age of 65 on 1 July 2014.
You can check if you might be eligible for the NDIS in the ACT by using the My Access CheckerExternal Link available on the NDIS website.

I recently went along to a consultation on the quality and safeguarding of the Scheme as we now with any consumer scheme where you are being asked to by services (for instance a used car) there is a risk that you will not get what you paid for because you don't have the same level of knowledge around the product as perhaps the salesperson does.
Safe guarding is a really important part of this new Scheme as we are talking about potentially vulnerable and marginalised groups trying to access services.

Some of the ideas discussed were;
  • The use of a 'Trip Adviser' like program to allow users to rate services and steer people towards good service
  •  Ensuring that there are good programs in place to grow the skill base of individuals using the service
  • Making sure the safeguards include mention to the National Disability Standards and the National Mental Health Standards
  • The role the safeguarding process will have in determining risk
  • Can you regulate mainstream services like cleaners and shopping aids without over regulating?
  •  Safeguarding framework must include the role of community and advocacy groups
  •  Should the agency oversee complaints?
It was a very interesting discussion for me particularly because HCCA has just finished it's submission for the review of the National Registration and Accreditation Scheme for Health Professionals which is the scheme that looks at the registration of health professionals such as nurses and doctors. There were many parallel questions posed about the new NDIS system and how this will work. 

Are you eligible for the NDIS? What has your experience so far been like ?

Eleanor Kerdo
Policy Officer 

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