Preventing new entries of young people to aged care requires information and education at the coalface of discharge planning and liaison roles to oversee the transition of supports between sub-acute health and the community.
People with complex support needs leaving sub-acute services require flexible and responsive supports that can respond to changes in a timely way. Their needs may change rapidly, requiring input from both health and disability providers, especially immediately after discharge.
Solution 1: The NDIS and health systems need to work together to ensure that when a person with disability is ready to leave hospital they can return to the community as quickly as possible, rather than being discharged into aged care
Diverting people with disability away from aged care and back into the community faster will result in positive health outcomes and long-term savings to the NDIS. It will prevent the physical and mental deterioration associated with aged care admission.
Solution 2: The federal government should prioritise fixing the hospital discharge pathway as a strategic priority of the NDIS
This would involve these actions:
- State and federal governments working together to streamline the transition from the health sector to the disability and/or NDIS sector
- Developing working arrangements between the NDIA and hospitals to ensure young people in hospital who are ready for discharge are immediately provided with an NDIS plan to return to the community and not discharged into aged care
- The NDIA must review its internal access request and planning processes to ensure these requests are processed quickly, particularly when individuals are stuck in hospital or at risk of entering aged care
These solutions are in line with the recent recommendations from the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety.