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  • Writer's pictureJacqui Grant

NDIS Review Recommendations and Moving forward

Business to business, NDIS

Today Mr Bill Shorten spoke at the National Press Club with regards to the NDIS review report and the recommendations in that review.

Mr Shorten referred to this as Mark 2 reboot of the NDIS, with the goal to deliver better outcomes for Australians living with a disability. Yesterday 6th December 2023, the

national cabinet agreed to implement changes to improve the NDIS and to help it remain and to be sustainable for the long term. Functional supports were mentioned yesterday.

So what does all of this mean?

Mr Shorten said we :

" Need to get it back on track"

" Restore trust and to ensure the sustainability of the NDIS"

He highlighted that in the review final report, which is extensive there are

5 key questions, amongst others

·    Why is the NDIs oasis

·    Why are there more children

·    Why aren't the NDIS marketing not working

·    Sustainability of the scheme

·    Reasonable and necessary - what is it and what does it look like for those who live with a disability and the scheme?

In addition to this it was asked:

How are supports developed for the people who need them that this needs to be looked at and improved? It has also been raised that NDIS should not be the only option for people living with a disability there needs to be more support and this will allow for more choice and control along with the sustainability of the scheme for the long term.

It was noted that when there are changes to how services are delivered but no changes to the legisltation to support changes this create issuess for both participants and providers so everything needs to be streamlined with a co- collobration approach for the safety and better outcomes for all.

Mr Shorten shared that currently almost half of the participants on the scheme are children and that there are more adults that needs support however do not always get accepted into NDIS, especially people with psychosocial diabilities. It is not a one size fits all and he stated: "We need to make the NDIS fair for all!"

The NDIS review took approximately 12 months to complete, I was interviewed as part of it during that time myself. They have come up with 139 actions and 26 Recommendations ( full list of the actions and recommendations) for improvements for NDIS and the people who access it. It is important that the people with a disability are at the centre of the design and changes to the NDIS and that it is a partnership design. Choice and control was meantioned a few times also.

Mr Shorten discussed 7 of the 26 recommendations. ( You can access the full report here: NDIS review final report)

1.    Foundations supports - connected supports NDIS or not services outside of NDIS. 2 kinds of functional supports which are: 1. general support available to all people with a disability and people who are not eligible for NDIS - commonwealth, state and territory funding reforms cost to be reported to the national cabinet. 2. High level supports for those who require more assistance, however may not meet the NDIS criteria. Those on NDIS can also access the foundation's support and their NDIS services.

2.    Better connection for people with a disability. Connection to supports, such as a navigator, with No single access point for people to navigate and find support. Two types 1, general and two specialists - high complex services - who will provide this service remains to be seen.

3.    Humanize the planning process - better plan development for better outcomes for disabled people. Goal to how impairment impacts the person's life. Choice and control and evidence-based supports. (e.g. crystal therapy and a cruise is out). Funding amounts are based on the needs, and functional assessments are completed in person and funded to ensure the right supports are established from the beginning, creating a plan suited to the person, not a diagnosis. Funding and planning are more flexible.

4.    Better support to children and their families - evidence-based early intervention and the entire family involved. More support should be given to families - the goal is for them to be both in and outside NDIS. Lead practitioner to develop support for the family and children both in and outside of the NDIS. In some cases, the plan may be that all support and services are outside of NDIS as the person may need to meet the criteria for NDIS at the time. This includes schools, day care and other providers.

5.    Psychosocial disability - the scheme hasn't worked for this group of people. Planning needs to consider it all, including the complexity of the person's needs. A new approach is required. Early intervention system, new standards for those supporting this cohort. They will remain covered.

6.    Fairer housing and supports. Choices has been limited and have created problems with segregation. Remove the people who are not providing the proper support.

Making the right assessments - comprehensive for their house and that these will provide choice for where the person lives and who provides their support instead of being an institutional or group homing. Better design and more precise guidance are given.

7. Integrity & Quality, and safety of the scheme - all services providers are to be visible to the Safety and Quality Commission - This means that NDIS will only pay NDIS-registered providers. Providers for low-risk services - straightforward registration, Tiered system and higher level. This will be implemented over time as the system is developed.

You can also read more detail here:

This is a 5 year plan and there is still more to be released in the following months. We can now take the time to read the full report and learn and prepare.

I have been part of NDIS since the trials and during that time have seen many changes.

With over 36 years experience in health and disability, as a nurse, manager of a support worker business in NDIS and also support coordinator, as well as roles in consumer and quality services, I have seen many changes and the NDIS is one of the many positive changes, and as highlighted it can be improved.

As a person who is autistic, has ADHD and also some PTSD, I do not have an NDIS plan as I am high functioning and I personally welcome additional supports for others who are like me who would benefit from some support from time to time.

I have also worked with family with very high complex needs and see the battle fatigue from fighting for supports for their child/children year after and then the families who have come to me where the house their adult child is living is never cleaned and he doesn't always have access to meals. So I welcome positive changes and collobration the goverment talks about for the families and individuals living with disabilities, this is after all their life.

So where to from here?

Let's stop and take a moment to take in what has been said and if you choose breath deeply.... this is a process and a lot of information.

As with any changes there is always a sense of uncertainity and often more questions than answers. When those answers will come, I am unclear however there are some things you can do now.

If you are a service provider and you are not NDIS registered, you can start to ensure that your business set up and foundations are strong. In this artice i have provided relevant links also such as NDIS code of conduct, duty of care and more.

We have an article on just how to do that here: Guide to setting up and running your disability business

Disability legislation - current version link: Disability Services and Inclusive legislation

If you do not have your documents, policies and procedures in place, you can start now, we have them available at 50% off until 2024 and will do our best to assist you to ensure you are ready for when NDIS registration is required for ALL service providers.

The small steps you start taking now to prepare for the changes the better equiped you are when they do come.

We are happy to sit and do a coaching session with you to map out your business actions, you can book that here: 1 hour empowerment session for business. Ready to help you have some clarity on your business and creating a plan.

You can listen to our podcast on todays information and other business support here:

You are not alone, we are doing this together.

We have our Connect and Grow Magazine where you can read our articles and to continue networking and growing your business.

Take care of you, its all going to one step at a time and remember that many of the people with an NDIS plan will be asking a lot of questions so please be honest and supportive.

Other Media articles you can read:

Inconsistent plans driving budget blow out

Written by Jacqui Grant

(C) 2023 Break Free Consultancy

Disclaimer: all information in this article is for general use only, please always seek the correct professional advice from the appropriate person. We have shared links that are current at the time of publication and all content in this article is subject to change.

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