News 6 June 2017

Breaking: NDIA vows to “get it right”

The NDIA today provided an update on what it’s doing to make it easier for people with disability, their families, carers and disability service providers to navigate the NDIS.

It means they’ve heard what you had to say in the Every Australian Counts community report card, and they’ve taken on board your submission to the Productivity Commission review into NDIS costs.

It’s a great breakthrough!

In an update today the NDIA said they had talked more than 200 stakeholders, including participants, carers, providers and peak bodies as part of the review.

It’s come up with “400 specific improvement ideas and 200 solution concepts” to consider.

The NDIA couldn’t give us a full list of what those ideas might be, but did say it was looking at ways to improve the quality of the participant and provider experience through measures such as:

  • A greater outcomes focus through a participant’s life;
  • More active involvement with communities;
  • More face to face communication, instead of telephone calls;
  • Fewer transfers of a participant from staff to staff; and
  • A more responsive call centre.

It will also be looking at how to improve their portal. After last year’s technical disasters, the improved portal will be tested with participants and providers before it goes live.

The NDIA is hoping to complete the review, which it’s calling the Participant and Pathway Review, by the end of this month.

In the meantime it’s promised to get the ball rolling by focusing on better communication. That’s with participants to improve the planning and implementation of their plans and with new and existing providers.

The NDIA also promised to test any changes with both participants and providers before they’re introduced, stating they’ve learned from their mistakes.

In his statement today NDIA CEO David Bowen acknowledged the experience participants and providers had had so far had not lived up to “the high standards the NDIA expects”.

He said the NDIA had no plans to cut the amount of supports provided in plan packages.

“As was always the original intent of the NDIS, better outcomes for participants, based on the Scheme’s insurance approach are intended to produce a long term economic and social dividend for Australia,” he said.

“That was the vision on which the NDIS was founded. That is what the disability community supports. That is what we, our staff and community partners are committed to delivering.”

You can read Mr Bowen’s full statement here.

The NDIA and Mr Bowen said they’d keep talking to groups like Every Australian Counts to “build the strongest NDIS possible”.

Let’s hope so! The NDIS will only deliver on its expectations if those directly affected are involved in its design.

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