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Tuesday

Cerebral Palsy Alliance is advocating to improve 10 aspects of the NDIS

The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is new territory for everyone so it is only natural that the scheme needs to be continuously reviewed and refined as more people access the NDIS. 

Cerebral Palsy Alliance (CPA) has been involved in the NDIS since the Hunter regional trial was launched in NSW in 2013. Fast forward to mid-2017 and some clients are now entering their fifth year.

With over four years of experience operating with the scheme, CPA has had an opportunity to listen to our clients and staff and have identified 10 key areas it is proactively seeking to address with the executive of the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA).

“Most feedback about the NDIS has been positive,” says Rob White CEO of CPA. “The NDIS is such an historical change to how services are delivered that it is only natural that we all need to keep influencing the design of the scheme and advocating around the areas that are not working as effectively as we had hoped.”

Here are our 10 key areas of concern:

  1. Centre-based respite services: Inadequate funding for respite services is making it in increasingly difficult for service providers to deliver services in a sustainable way. CPA is advocating for the NDIS to recognise and provide adequately funded supports for the needs of carers who have a family member at home with complex care and support needs and who wish to access centre-based respite services. CPA maintains its commitment to delivering these services, whilst the NDIA reviews their funding levels.
    We are pleased that the NDIA recently announced the NDIS price limits for short-term accommodation will be increased from 30 October, 2017. This increase is aimed at assisting providers of short-term accommodation services to remain financially sustainable. Information about the updated price guides is available here. 
     
  2. Assistive Technology: At present there are significant issues with the process for identifying, approving and funding necessary Assistive Technology supports in a timely manner for participants – many people are waiting excessive periods of time for vital personal aids and equipment. CPA is advocating for a more responsive and effective decision-making process be established to ensure that people get the right Assistive Technology at the right time.
     
  3. Regional and Rural Pricing: Currently the NDIA provides a funding loading for participants living in remote and very remote locations but doesn’t acknowledge that participants and providers in other outer regional locations are often also disadvantaged because they are required to travel great distances to access specialist disability services and the current travel cap is prohibitive.
     
  4. Pricing: Currently the NDIS has a limited funding structure to accommodate the different needs of people with a disability. For self-care – the NDIS provides funding for standard and higher-intensity supports. In therapy services there is a price limit set. CPA is advocating for a review of this funding structure and advocating for a tiered structure that recognises the sectors need to deliver services to people with low, high and very high support needs.
     
  5. Participant Transport: CPA has operated a fleet of modified, accessible vans to provide clients with safe, reliable transport. The current funding falls way short of the actual running costs to deliver this transport service. CPA is advocating for changes that will allow for participant transport to be adequately funded.
     
  6. Australian Disability Enterprises (ADEs): Potential funding changes for ADEs in the future may mean that the true support costs for people with complex needs will not be adequately covered. CPA is advocating for ADE funding to be fully reviewed.
     
  7. Early Childhood Early Intervention (ECEI) access partner model: The introduction of this model has been quite confusing for participants, providers and access partners. CPA will continue to advocate for a clearer pathway for young children and their families to access early intervention services in a supportive, streamlined and responsive manner.
     
  8. NDIA Myplace portal: The current portal has increased the administrative burden and cost to providers and is confusing and frustrating for clients. CPA is proposing that the NDIA provides more support to participants to set up and use the portal and better functionality for all users.
     
  9. Planning: The accelerated phasing timetable has led to problems such as an emphasis on quantity rather than quality of plans. CPA is advocating for improvements to the planning process and quoting/funding tools that assist planners to gather accurate information about the supports a person requires to reduce requests for plans to be reviewed. Recently the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) released details of a new NDIS ‘pathway’ designed to improve the experience people and organisations have from their first interaction to their ongoing engagement with the NDIS. This is good news as it includes meeting face-to-face for all NDIS plan development, based on the individual’s preference. The new pathway will be progressively piloted and tested over the coming months before being rolled out nationally. The NDIA says it will continue to engage with stakeholders on the testing and implementation of the new pathway. For more information go here.
     
  10. NDIS roll out timetable and speed of transition: There is client confusion and stress along with poor quality first plans that have required review. CPA is recommending that the transition timetable be revised.

“We are confident that with patience and persistence the NDIA will address all the issues that are being raised by CPA and other service providers in the sector,” says Rob.

If you are encountering any major difficulties and are willing to share your personal stories, contact your local CPA team.

We also encourage you to contact your local Federal Member of Parliament to ensure that they are across the issues effecting people with a disability in their community.