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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

Source: Probono  |  Author: Luke Michael

As 2019 draws to a close, we look back at five major reforms that were made possible only through strong charitable advocacy.  

Advocacy is an essential function of charities and a vital component of Australian democracy.

But it is an area sometimes misunderstood by the public and an activity that has come under attack from governments in recent years.

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Source: Every Australian Counts  |  Author: George Taleporos

Ahead of giving evidence to the Disability Royal Commission hearing in Melbourne, the Summer Foundation’s Dr George Taleporos spoke to Every Australian Counts.

Dr Taleporos outlined what he planned to tell the Commission – and what he thinks needs to change when it comes to housing for people with disability.

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Source: Probono | Reporter: Luke Michael

The Morrison government has pledged there will be no young people with disability living in residential aged care by 2022.

In its response to the aged care royal commission’s interim report, the government vowed to ensure there were no people under 65 entering aged care by 2022, no people under 45 living in aged care by 2022, and no people under 65 living in aged care by 2025.

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The Summer Foundation, the Young People In Nursing Homes National Alliance, Youngcare, Synapse, the Specialist Disability Accommodation Alliance and Aged & Community Services Australia have released a joint statement:

Organisations supporting young people living in nursing homes have welcomed the Morrison Government’s commitment to work to the targets endorsed by the Aged Care Royal Commission that will see no younger person enter residential aged care by 2022 and no one under 65 years in aged care by 2025.

“This is an important step forward and we applaud the government for its commitment to these new targets,” said YPINH Alliance head, Dr Bronwyn Morkham. “The targets reflect the urgency of this problem – and they are certainly achievable – but it’s essential that we start now.

“We’re ready to work with the government to develop and implement its new strategy. We look forward to seeing more detail about these new initiatives, to make sure the strategy delivers on its promise.”

“We’re pleased to see that improved data gathering and detailed analyses of this cohort will form a central part of this work,” said Summer Foundation CEO Dr Di Winkler.

“We also welcome the government’s decision to implement a joint agency approach. Too many younger people end up in aged care because they fall through cracks between the health and disability systems. Bringing all the relevant agencies together is the only way we can stop this from continuing to happen. State health systems are key to this work and we look forward to being partners in this new strategy.”

Youngcare CEO Anthony Ryan said that developing a database of new and existing housing options will support investment in accessible housing.

“Helping investors better understand the needs of these younger people is critical to developing the housing and care options they need,” he said.

“The rapid availability of interim housing solutions is also a priority to stop younger people going into aged care.”

ACSA CEO Pat Sparrow also welcomed the announcement but called on the Morrison Government to ensure that those younger people also receive the level of support they require while they continue to live in an aged care home.  “There is often a funding disparity that disadvantages those people in aged care.  ACSA believes that regardless of your age or where you reside you should get the level of support required to meet needs and to have a good quality of life.”    

All organisations agree that funding is needed for individual advocacy to prevent young people going into aged care as well as help them make the transition back to life in the community.

“These are people needing multiple supports from different services and we need new roles that can work closely with each younger person and the service systems they need to make their transition to life in the community a success,” said Dr Morkham.

You can download a PDF copy of this statement here.

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Please contact Vince Patton, Communications Strategist, on
0418 851 203 or 03 9894 7006.

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BUILDING BETTER LIVES FOR YOUNG PEOPLE IN NURSING HOMES