Recommendations released today, 20 January 2020, following a review of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) by independent expert Mr David Tune AO PSM, should unlock the benefits of the scheme more quickly and provide certainty for those trying to access it.
The Summer Foundation supports the commitment to a Participant Service Guarantee and the introduction of new standards for shorter, realistic timeframes for NDIS plan establishment and reviews.
However, while the introduction of specific timeframes around critical decisions and actions of the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) are positive, the timeframes require further attention.
The 21 days allocated for the NDIA to make an access decision and the 70 days (from 1 July 2020 and 56 days from 1 July 2021) for plan approval following an access decision, do not reflect the urgency required to support a person waiting to leave hospital or aged care.
Without urgent NDIS decision-making, people disabilities will remain stuck in hospitals or in aged care. The longer they are stuck there, the harder it is to transition back into the community.
Therefore, the Summer Foundation calls on the NDIS to commit to a triage process that will ensure people with disabilities who require urgent access decisions will be prioritised. People stuck in hospital and in aged care should have their access decision confirmed within 5 days and that their NDIS plan is approved within the soonest possible time.
The Summer Foundation particularly supports three other recommendations in the report:
- The NDIA and governments working with researchers and experts in disability support to establish an accessible source of publicly available information about evidence-based best-practice approaches to help participants exercise informed choice and control
- The NDIS developing a comprehensive national outreach strategy to ensure everyone who is eligible for the NDIS is aware of the scheme and supported to engage with it
- Undertaking reviews of the NDIA’s operational guidelines for Supported Independent Living, with an emphasis on reinforcing the principles of choice and control
In 2019 the Commonwealth Government commissioned Mr David Tune to conduct an independent review to look at changes that could be made to streamline NDIS processes, remove barriers to positive participant experiences and introduce the Participant Service Guarantee. The Summer Foundation made a submission to the review, including 26 recommendations.
You can read the review report here: https://www.dss.gov.au/disability-and-carers-programs-services-for-people-with-disability-national-disability-insurance-scheme/review-of-the-ndis-act-report-plain-english-summary