Summer Foundation – La Trobe University Research Program 2022/2023
The enduring research partnership between the Summer Foundation and La Trobe University’s Living with Disability Research Centre is testament to what is possible when rigorous academic methods are applied to real-world problems. The research program at the Summer Foundation is unashamedly ambitious. It needs to be in order to address the manifold challenges experienced by people with disability in Australia today.
Our Research team consists of more than 20 researchers, including experienced academics, clinical experts, research assistants, and doctoral candidates. They come from diverse backgrounds, including psychology, speech pathology, occupational therapy, physiotherapy and architecture. Together, the team work on more than 20 active projects covering topics as broad as younger people in residential aged care, hospital discharge, the disability housing market, and factors contributing to quality disability support.
This report outlines the research undertaken in 2022/23 as part of the program, our aims and our outputs.
Discharge planning toolkit
This toolkit provides targeted information for hospital discharge staff, and staff in acute and rehabilitation hospital settings, relating to the discharge of people aged under 65 years who have acquired a disability:
NDIS readiness – a toolkit for hospitals
This toolkit includes tailored resources for health practitioners that cover the entire hospital journey for people with disabilities, from admission to discharge back into the community.
First published: July 2018
Last updated: June 2023
Allied health housing assessments guide
The aim of this guide is to assist support coordinators and allied health professionals collaborate on Housing Plans for National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) participants. Housing Plans rely on appropriately framed allied health assessments and reports to support the participant pursue their goals and aspirations.
First published: April 2018
Last updated: June 2023
Sample transition NDIS plan
A transition NDIS plan aims to facilitate a successful and timely discharge from hospital for NDIS participants. It is a 3–6 month plan that acts as a transition to a more extensive plan to be used post discharge.
First published: December 2019 as Sample interim NDIS plan
Last updated: June 2023
Urgent access request cover letter
In some circumstances a person may be vulnerable to risk and need urgent supports. For example, they may be going back to live in a community setting with few supports of any kind after they are discharged from hospital, or they may not be able to return home and may be at risk of moving into a residential aged care facility.
Download a Word document template of the letter
First published: September 2019
Last updated: June 2023
Summer Foundation – La Trobe University Research Program 2021/2022
The Summer Foundation – La Trobe University Research Program is designed to understand the issue of young people in aged care. By researching the issues at each stage of the critical pathways that lead young people to aged care we can provide the evidence needed to create systems change that will solve this problem.
Housing as a barrier to hospital discharge – Policy Position Statement by the Summer Foundation
People with disability who have high and complex needs often get stuck in hospital due to challenges accessing the housing and support needed to leave hospital. The transition from hospital to home requires a coordinated approach between the NDIS and health and housing sectors. Enabling access to appropriate housing and supports when participants are clinically fit for discharge prevents disruptions to patient flow and poor health outcomes stemming from extended hospital stays.
Evaluating the discharge planning process: Barriers, challenges, and facilitators of timely and effective discharge for people with disability and complex needs
Tags: hospital discharge
Improving the pathway from hospital to the community is the key to reducing the number of younger Australians stuck in hospital and/or discharged to residential aged care (RAC). This report presents preliminary findings from three studies initiated to explore and identify barriers, challenges and facilitators of timely and effective discharge for people with disability and complex needs.
Cubis, L., Ramme, R.A., Roseingrave, E., Minter, E., Winkler, D., & Douglas, J. (2022). Evaluating the discharge planning process: Barriers, challenges, and facilitators of timely and effective discharge for people with disability and complex needs. Summer Foundation and La Trobe University.
Pre Budget Submission (2022)
More than 50 young people continue to enter aged care each month. Most young people enter aged care via hospital -they fall through the gap between the hospital and the disability sectors.
Additionally over 1,100 long stay NDIS participants are stuck in Australian hospitals at a cost of $860m per annum. People with disability remain in hospital for months after they are clinically ready for discharge because it takes the NDIA an average of 60 days to determine eligibility and allocate funding for supports in an NDIS plan. Funding for SDA can take much longer.
Many NDIS participants have to go to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) to get the right SDA determination. This can take up to another year, costing the Federal Government $17 million per annum (reported by the NDIA) and causing undue stress to NDIS participants and their families.
Lack of disability housing is not the main barrier to hospital discharge. According to the NDIA, there are 3,000 vacancies in disability housing across Australia, 800 of which are new build SDA.
In 2016, the NDIS committed to providing $700 million per year to housing payments called SDA. Last year the NDIA only allocated 31% of the committed $700 million for SDA (the partial allocation of committed funding also occurred in prior years).
The Federal Government will not achieve its 2022 or 2025 YPIRAC Targets unless:
- The NDIA steps up and matches the efficiency of the aged care system in the timely allocation of funding for housing and support, post receipt of all required evidence to make an SDA determination.
- There is investment in better hospital discharge for people with severe disability
Hospital Discharge of NDIS Participants with High and Complex Needs – Policy Position Statement by the Summer Foundation
Immediate action is needed to improve outcomes for people with complex disability. Significant reforms of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) and health interface systems are needed to reduce unnecessary hospital stays and to prevent younger people with high and complex disabilities from being forced into unsuitable housing and support such as residential aged care (RAC).
Hospital discharge delays have compounding negative consequences for NDIS participants (hereafter referred to as ‘participant’ or ‘participants’) and families, NDIS and health systems, and the workers within these systems. Improvements in hospital discharge will reduce costs for both the NDIS and health systems and help fulfil the Younger People in Residential Aged Care Action Plan of no younger person (under the age of 65) living in RAC unless there are exceptional circumstances.
This report examines the various problems and solutions specific to the NDIS and health interface to minimise extended hospital stays and increase successful returns to community life for people with disabilities.
Capacity building framework training manual
In striving for best practice outcomes for NDIS participants, a health service may use this resource to provide a framework in the provision of information, training and mentoring to staff for practice change.
NDIS foundations training videos
These videos for health services are part of the NDIS Capacity building framework training manual.
- Embedding Practice Change: Health Services and the NDIS
- Introduction to the NDIS (Webinars 1–4)
- NDIS Foundations (Modules 1–3)
- Streamlining Health & NDIS for Better Discharge Outcomes
Health service FAQs
All health services are building their capacity in working with the NDIS and people with disability aged under 65. This resource contains health’ frequently asked questions (FAQs), and answers relating to a number of different topics.
Health services may choose to download the Word version of this resource and add their own FAQs to maximise local relevance.
Discharge Planning from Hospital to Home
Donna King is an Occupational Therapist Case Manager working in the area of traumatic brain injury. Donna deals mainly with clients in rural locations. Donna says early contact is key to a good Discharge Plan.
Chris’s aged care story
Two and half years ago Chris was hospitalised. Chris knew he couldn’t return to his home in Launceston, he wanted to move closer to his parents on the north west coast of Tasmania. With no choices this would mean living in a nursing home.
Deborah’s aged care story
It all started Christmas Eve 2015. Deborah went from thinking about what she was going to cook for Christmas Day, to being in intensive care with all her organs shutting down. That was the beginning of Deborah’s journey into aged care.