Vic OPA: The Illusion of ‘choice and control’

The difficulties for people with complex and challenging support needs to obtain adequate supports under the NDIS

The purpose of this report is to tell the stories of some of OPA’s clients who have complex and challenging support needs, and who are not seeing the benefits that the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is intended to deliver.

The human impact and harm experienced by clients when they receive inadequate supports under the NDIS is significant and the costs to them for this failure, and to all of us, have been enormous.

As the client stories in the report demonstrate, people in this cohort experience many challenges in obtaining adequate supports under the NDIS, including:

  • becoming NDIS participants at the earliest possible opportunity
  • ensuring plans are adequate for their support needs from the outset
  • engaging and retaining suitable service providers
  • accessing and retaining suitable accommodation.

These challenges can have detrimental, sometimes devastating, consequences for the person. 

This report makes fifteen recommendations to improve system, service and operational issues to ensure the scheme delivers the intended transformational benefits for all people with disability.

from https://www.publicadvocate.vic.gov.au/our-services/publications-forms/re...

see also http://a4.org.au/node/1855


NDIA statement in response to the OPA Report

Posted on 02 October 2018

The National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) takes all matters relating to participants experiences with the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) seriously. The NDIA is considering the Victorian Office of the Public Advocate's report in detail, and working to ensure the recommendations appropriately addressed, noting a number of these recommendations are being addressed through existing and ongoing work being undertaken by the Agency. The NDIA appreciates the important work the OPA does with and on behalf of participants, and welcomes evidence based insights and reviews. This feedback helps the NDIA deliver a better a service to participants.

The Agency continues to work closely with State and Territory Governments, peak bodies and sector representatives to ensure the NDIS meets the needs and expectations of participants, their families and carers and assists them to exercise choice and control over their lives.

The Agency recognises the significant challenges posed by rolling out a social reform the size and scale of the NDIS. The NDIA has been listening to participants and providers about what works and what doesn't work, and how to improve the NDIS experience. Since April 2017, through the participant pathway review, the Agency has been piloting and implementing improvements to the way the NDIS is delivered.

The NDIA will implement national improvements to the participant experience from October 2018, including:

  • A complex support needs pathway to assist participants with complex support needs and improve their access to services;
  • Clear links to other service systems to make sure that people get the supports they need from other services like the housing, education, employment and health systems;
  • Stronger connections between NDIA planners and Local Area Coordinators (LACs), who will become a consistent point of contact for the participant, and;
  • Ongoing work with Mental Health Australia to implement a psychosocial disability service stream to better address the needs of participants with psychosocial disability.

The NDIA is also working to enhance the provider pathway, including for those providers who support participants with more complex needs. The NDIA has initiated a pilot project to test the implementation of the complexity recommendations of the Independent Price Review, and provided further market information on Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA) to support the market to respond to the demands of participants for fit-for-purpose housing solutions.

The NDIA has been working closely with the Commonwealth Departments of Social Services and Health and state and territory governments through the Senior Officials Working Group (SOWG) to clarify service systems responsibilities under the NDIS Act 2013, NDIS Rules 2013, and under the Council of Australian Governments (COAG). This work will improve the NDIS experience for participants who interact with multiple government service systems.

The Agency has contacted the OPA to work to address the concerns of the individual cases raised in the report.

from https://ndis.gov.au/news/statement-in-response-2oct.html