Getting ready for the rollout of the full NDIS
The opportunities and the challenges of the National Disability Insurance Scheme were front and centre at a Sydney Local Health District forum held on May 16 at Concord Hospital.
The NDIS aims to provide Australians under the age of 65 who have a permanent and significant disability with the reasonable and necessary supports they need to achieve their goals. This may include greater independence, community involvement, employment and improved wellbeing.
NDIS Change Manager James Everingham told the forum the introduction of the scheme has created significant opportunities, but the transition period has also raised some challenges.
The next phase begins on July 1, when the full Scheme is rolled out across the District.
During the transition phase over the last 12 months, the NDIS team and staff across the District have supported more than 140 hospital patients access the Scheme.
Hundreds more community clients – including almost 900 community care supports funded-clients – have been assisted in establishing an NDIS plan or connected to other supports in the community.
The District has also escalated more than 850 cases to the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) this financial year to resolves issues, clarify information and seek priority for urgent situations.
"We have developed close links with the NDIA and the Local Area Coordinators and are committed to continuing to work closely with them to achieve the best results for our patients and our community," Mr Everingham said.
Speakers at the forum included disability consumer and advocated Kylie Scott, NDIA Assistant Director, Market and Provider Engagement, Gael Prophet, St. Vincent De Paul Local Area Coordinator Team Leader, Elektra Spathopoulos, and NSW Fair Trading Engagement Coordinator, Kathryn Tidd.
Mr Everingham advised the audience to escalate early when issues are identified. Collaborative practice is the best approach, he said.
Chief Executive Dr Teresa Anderson said the focus is on putting the needs of some of the most vulnerable people in our community at the centre of our efforts.
"I'd like to acknowledge and thank all of our staff for their support and involvement in helping our community make the transition to the NDIS and for helping them to achieve the best outcomes we can," Dr Anderson said.