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NDS State of the Disability Sector Report

NDS released a State of the Disability Sector Report 2016 earlier this week. The report paints the compelling picture that while the disability services sector remains committed to the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), many providers feel uncertain about the future and are concerned about being able to meet the demand and the needs of people with disability.

NDIA releases Market Approach Statement

The Market Approach Statement, released 11 November by the NDIA, outlines how the NDIA will work with NDIS stakeholders to grow and upscale the number of disability support providers and services.

The document outlines the need to develop alternative business models to generate greater employment and discusses the NDIA's role as a 'market steward' - monitoring, facilitating and commissioning the marketplace. The statement acknowledges the impact of the new market on providers, who will have to adapt to the removal of bulk-funding, a competitive and commercial environment, new risks and new business processes.

The NDIA is committed to creating both a participant and provider-enabling environment and has outlined its planned activities until 2019 in the statement.

Carers NSW reports on the respite needs of carers

Carers NSW also released a 4 page booklet Give us a Break about the respite needs of carers across Australia. Survey findings highlight that carers see respite as being for the carer not just the person with disability yet government policy is shifting towards the view that carers will have respite as a result of the needs of the person with disability being met. The implication is that the approach to respite in the NDIS may not address the needs of families and carers for support to maintain their wellbeing.

Anglicare report on carers

Anglicare launched a report on Monday Sydney's Carers: Doing it Tough, Doing it Well which raises concerns about unmet needs of carers under the NDIS. It also indicates the need for more support programs for carers of people with a disability. The report echoes the concerns of many across the sector that carer supports and in particular access to respite will be diminished under the NDIS. View the media release and the full report.  

The report echoes some of what Tandem has been hearing from mental health carers on the ground, particularly the confusion and difficulties navigating the NDIS, concerns about loved ones who are unwell and lack insight into their condition not engaging in the NDIS, and support that will be available for them and their families. Tandem will analyse the report and utilise the information to continue to advocate for mental health carers to have access to supports in their own right both in the NDIS and outside the NDIS.

Rocky start to NDIS transition period

The first quarterly report covering the NDIS transition phase was released recently. The report shows that the NDIS fell well short of its targets in terms of participant numbers. IT problems contributed to this but the numbers were still below expected after taking into account these issues. Though it remains high, satisfaction with the NDIA has also declined in the last quarter. During the trial phase 95 per cent of participants and their families and carers rated their experience as good or very good, whereas in the last quarter this dropped to 85 per cent of participants.

NDIA Annual Report

The National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) has published its 2015–16 Annual Report: Towards an Ordinary Life, which provides a comprehensive overview of the Agency and Scheme and the progress of the scheme over the last 12 months.

Audit of NDIS transition management

The Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) has released a report assessing how the NDIA and DSS managed the transition of the disability services market to the NDIS.

The report, entitled NDIS – Management of Transition of the Disability Services Market, has found that:

Report on individualised housing assistance

New research by the Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute (AHURI) has found that, with the creation of new NDIS markets, by 2019 between 83,000 and 122,000 people will struggle to secure appropriate low-cost housing, eliminating consumer choice and control.

Other reports

NDIS: Information for Specialist Clinical Mental Health Services. The document outlines the responsibilities of the NDIA and Clinical Mental Health Services and key areas of interface between specialist Clinical Mental Health Services and the NDIS and has been developed to support Victorian Area Mental Health Services throughout the transition to the NDIS. The document will be regularly updated to incorporate feedback and reflect refinements in the roll-out of the NDIS.

The National Disability Insurance Agency released the Information, Linkages and Capacity Building Commissioning Framework. The Framework sits under the NDIS ILC Building Policy and outlines the grants process and next steps for NDIS transition. This version incorporates feedback that was received as part of the ILC consultation sessions held earlier in the year. Tandem welcomes your comments and feedback.

Recognising the recovery benefits of early intervention for people living with psychosocial disability, Mind Australia in collaboration with the University of Melbourne have released a research report entitled, Effective, evidence-based psychosocial interventions suitable for early intervention in the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS): promoting psychosocial functioning and recovery. The report evaluates how effective various early intervention supports are in improving outcomes for people living with mental health issues and points to a range of issues related to achieving long term outcomes and reducing long-term reliance on the NDIS.

The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has released a document titled 'National Disability Insurance Scheme and the health and aged care sector – Interim practice advice for health and aged care services' which outlines the responsibilities of the health and aged care systems and the NDIS for people moving between health and hospital supports and disability supports.

On 18 September the NDIA released the NDIS Quarterly Report for April–June 2016, the last report for the three-year national trial period. The report lists up-to-date statistics on NDIS participants, plans and average costs of support. 

Developing the Workforce: Community Managed Mental Health Sector NDIS Workforce Development Scoping Paper Project. One of three NDIS Capacity Building Project Papers, released by Mental Health Australia which were funded through the NDIS Sector Development Fund as part of a capacity building project being delivered by Mental Health Australia.

Review of NDIS My Place Portal. Following significant issues experienced by consumers and services using the NDIS MyPlace Portal, Minister Porter commissioned an independent report reviewing the portal. The report by Price Waterhouse Cooper was released on 2 September.

Mental Health Carers and the NDIS. This paper by Mental Health Australia and Carers Australia provides advice on issues arising for mental health carers in the context of the NDIS and offers recommendations to build the capacity of carers to participate in the NDIS (p.6).

Supported Decision Making, Psychosocial Disability and the NDIS. This paper explores the concept of supported decision-making (SDM), its role in psychosocial recovery, the role of carers and family, and its potential to be used under the NDIS to support choice and control.