Calls to Re-Introduce NDIS Draft Plans to Ensure Choice and Control
Wednesday, 31st May 2017 at 5:10 pm
The nation’s peak body for disability service providers is calling for the NDIA to re-introduce draft plans amid speculation that the NDIS targets are falling behind.
A report from The Australian warned that up to 90,000 people could miss out on the 2020 deadline for the NDIS, but National Disability Services CEO Ken Baker said he was more concerned about ensuring people received quality plans that were in line with the philosophy of the NDIS.
“Centre to the NDIS is empowerment and a sense of control for individuals and their families,” Baker said.
A NDS report, published in early May, said during the trial phase of the NDIS participants were invited to see their plans, make comments and ask for adjustments before they were finalised but that practice “has largely ceased”.
“The consequence is that participants can end up with a plan that doesn’t reflect their needs and goals. Some participants receive plans they don’t recognise. Consistent with the NDIS’s focus on choice and control, participants should always have the opportunity to comment on their plan before it is finalised,” the report said.
Baker said as a consequence of participant’s receiving inadequate plans, more reviews were being called for, which could potentially further burden the system and cause more delays.
It’s claimed that to date, the NDIS is 20,000 plans behind target.
Disabled People’s Organisations Australia director Therese Sands also said quality should take precedence over playing “catch-up”.
“The way plans are being developed is certainly causing considerable concern to people with disability – it is one of the key complaint areas that we hear over and over from people with disability and their families,” Sands said.
“We continue to provide this information to the NDIA and to work with them to review and enhance the NDIS planning process and build the skills of NDIS planners.”
Legislation passed in federal Parliament on Wednesday to introduce a new NDIS Quality and Safety Commission.
The commission will have powers to regulate NDIS providers, oversee quality and safety of their services and supports, investigate and determine complaints and uphold the rights of people with disability.
Minister for Social Services Christian Porter said the commission would ensure consistency, enhance protections for people with disabilities and reduce red tape.
“The commission will support NDIS participants to exercise choice and control, ensure appropriate safeguards are in place, and establish expectations for providers and their staff to deliver quality supports and services,” Porter said.
“The commission will set standards, investigate complaints and reportable incidents, enforce an NDIS code of conduct, and work with the states and territories to implement a nationallyconsistent policy for screening workers.”
The commission will be established in early 2018 and will assume its responsibilities as the NDIS reaches full scheme across Australia.
Public consultation on a draft NDIS Code of Conduct, which will be enforced by the commission, is open until Wednesday 21 June.
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