Improving the role of both the NDIS and hospitals in supporting young people with disability to leave hospital and return to their community is one of the keys to keeping them out of aged care.
The Summer Foundation, in partnership with two regional hospitals and the NDIS, is working towards testing new approaches to discharge planning as part of its Hospital Discharge Project.
The project, funded by the William Buckland Foundation, aims to improve the pathway from hospital back to the community for people who have acquired a significant disability. Through testing new approaches to discharge planning, we hope to help people with complex health and disability supports to return home and reduce unnecessary lengths of time in hospital.
Among people with disability in hospital, we aim to increase awareness and understanding about how to return to live in the community, while also increasing awareness among health professionals of how to use NDIS funding to enable people with disability to leave hospital.
We have held workshops with policy and practice staff from Barwon Health, Ballarat Health, planners and senior staff from the NDIA and NDIS participants to better understand the journey from hospital.
Testing of the new approach started early in 2019 in regional hospitals in Geelong and Ballarat. Identified inpatients and their immediate family/social supports, allied health professionals and senior planners from the NDIA are working closely together to improve the pathway through hospital and on to the community. Streamlined outcomes have included: early access decisions, early planning, and early support coordination with close collaboration between hospital staff and the local NDIS team. This 3-year project is currently in its third year and starting to see some good outcomes for younger people with disability and complex care needs.