News | 14 December 2016

NDIS co-design must include everyone

Tags: , , ,

Kelly and Ben photo

As the first six months of the NDIS nears, two separate reports have raised concerns that carers are falling through the cracks and providers are struggling to keep up demand.

In it’s new report Anglicare, one of the country’s biggest service providers, highlighted concerns the needs of some carers are not being met under the NDIS – and that some will be worse off.

Carers: Doing it Tough, Doing it Well raised concerns that carer’s supports are not formally recognised as part of NDIS packages – including respite care.

Instead carer supports will be directed through the Integrated Carer Support Service (ICSS) being designed by Department of Social Services. Anglicare says many carer specific support services are due to close – leaving the level of support for carers up in the air.

“It’s not really clear how carers are going to be supported under the NDIS,” Anglicare’s Advocacy and Research manager Sue King said.

“We would like to see respite services be maintained because they are a really important pillar in the life of a carer. If we’re not caring for carers, everything falls apart.”

Anglicare called for carers to have the option to an Independent Carer Support Coordinator as part of the services provided through the ICSS to help people navigate the system.

You can read Anglicare’s full recommendations here.

In a separate report, National Disability Services (NDS), which represents disability service providers, found that 35 per cent of providers saying they cannot meet demand.

However, the NDS State of Sector Report 2016 also found the NDIS was living up to its promise to give people with disability more choice and control, with 58 per cent of providers operating in the NDIS reporting clients left them for another service.

NDS called for the Government to involve providers more in co-design of the NDIS so ensure the scheme works for everyone.

“The expansion of life opportunities for people with disability promised by the NDIS cannot be delivered without a strong, sustainable and diverse disability services sector,” NDS Chief Executive Ken Baker said.

You can read the full NDS report here.

So what does it mean?

Both reports highlight how big a change the NDIS is, and how there’s still work to do to make the NDIS the best it can be for everyone.

Responses to Every Australian Counts Community Survey so far show some people have had a fantastic experience in the transition to the NDIS – others not so much.

It’s early days in the NDIS rollout. It’s important the NDIA and governments get as much feedback as possible about what’s working and what improvements need to be made.

It’s equally important the NDIA and governments listen to what they’re being told by the community.

If you are in the scheme and the experience has been great, they need to hear about it. If it’s not living up to expectations, they need to hear about it as well.

If you haven’t completed the survey yet, just click here.

There are questions for people already in the NDIS, people still waiting to join the scheme and people working in the sector – to make sure everybody’s needs and experiences count.

Join the conversation