State Government of Victoria
A Service Provider under the NDIS/NDIA!
The Federal Government in becoming committed to develop a National Disability Strategy to enhancing the quality of life and increase economic and social participation for people with disabilities and their carers, engaged the Productivity Commission to undertake an inquiry into the best solutions to improve care and support services for people with disabilities.
The Productivity Commission found it almost impossible to solve the very entrenched problems of fragmented State disability services to provide accountable support services within recognised standards within each state. They called the existing disability support arrangements "inequitable, fragmented and Inefficient", giving people with disabilities little choice.
The only answer they saw was a really national approach, through a National Disability Insurance Scheme. Such a scheme which would remove a major impasse - the support service block funded choice and control service providers had over consumers (people with disabilities and their stakeholders), and have the support service funding provided to the consumer, thus giving the consumer choice and control of the support services they are entitled to receive.
The National Disability Insurance Scheme and Agency (NDIS/NDIA) was therefore, initialised and developed as a direct result of State governments being totally unable to ensure support services for people with disabilities were viable and accountable, and were unable or unwilling to provide sufficient services. There is now a massive waiting list for the NDIS/A to reduce.
Although the NDIS/A funding is for all eligible people with disabilities, no matter where they live, we are concentrating on those living in group homes throughout the State of Victoria.
Shared supported accommodation group homes throughout the state are managed by both State government and non-government service providers. The non-government providers being mostly not-for-profit, at present.
Paying for services in group homes is two-fold. There are two distinct cost-streams. The most expensive, and that which is currently block funded by the State government within traditional support service provision, is for support services – being the cost of direct care staff, service management and overheads.
The second cost-stream is for the residents' day to day living. This is the residential charge, or board and lodging. that being for rent, housekeeping, utilities, manchester, whitegoods, etc. This is the responsibility of the resident - from their DSP (Disability Support Pension).
Moving the support service funding into the pocket of the consumer, to have the financial ability to choose their service provider and services, places the consumer (person with disabilities and their stakeholder) in the marketplace, as is the service provider. Just like the plumber and the customer – both are in the marketplace.
Non-Government Service Providers (NGOs) moving from being government block funded, captive market, service providers, to consumer funded, NDIS/A marketplace, service providers is a relatively straight forward process as regards being marketplace compatible.
Whereas, a government department is by tradition, a captive market entity, reliant on government/public funding for its overall operation, and public service staff would find it difficult, if not impossible to operate with equal opportunity in a competitive marketplace within a level playing field. and with the NDIS/A consumer-funded service provision intended to be truly national, marketplace and competitive. The States cannot, therefore, be permitted to do their own thing and remain service providers under the NDIS/A.
Allowing the Department of Health & Human Services (DHHS/the department) to continue to be a service provider under the NDIS/A, in NEMA (North East Melbourne Metropolitan Area) from July this year (2016), is detrimental to the basic intent of the NDIS/A;.this being, consumer-driven service improvement. As public service management and staff have little or no incentive to accept their employment being dependent solely on funding from consumers (participants).
The Department cannot, through the direction of its management, provide and support the NDIS/A intent of the consumers/participants having "choice, control and service entitlement”. as the Department has this! The Department management tell consumers what they can and can’t have - in the extreme. Consumers within department managed SSA group homes having any of the said factors, is totally dependent on direct care staff integrity not management direction.
With the support of union HACSU, many current Department consumers want the Department to remain a service provider. Whereas, many do not consider they were initially given no choice between DHHS and NGOs. And, that almost half the State’s group homes are well managed by qualified and experienced staff who are not government employees (public servants).
If the Department maintains even some of its own block funding as a NDIS/A service provider, this will advantage the Department over non-government service providers who have to operate solely on revenue from consumers who they will need to attract and retain to remain viable.
The Department as a service provider under the NDIS/A, and not having to operate solely on revenue from consumers as they do/did in Barwon under the in-kind agreement, will result in little service level and quality improvement being implemented. Very much, "Carry on as usual", with management and direct care staff seeing little more than a transparent change of funding source.
If the Department played its cards right within government intention to move their group home services to NGOs, there would be little change at house level. Just a management change at predominantly operations manager level, to eventually implement all the good NDIS/A intentions to improve the quality of life care within the fundamental group home support services for all in group homes throughout the state and whole of Australia, rather than the residents/consumers/participants being reliant on supplementary NDIS/A services.
Extra 1: NDIS Operational Plan Commitment
Extra 2: NDIA Specialist Disability Accommodation Position Paper
on Draft Pricing and Payments
Extra 3: National Disability Insurance Agency wants greater power
over NDIS costs
Extra 4: Group Home Consumers Beware! View your service
assessment before ….
Extra 5: Union HACSU in bed with DHHS Victoria, by LISA Inc.
Extra 6: The NDIS by Fighting Chance
Extra 7: Equal Opportunity under the Law for people with
Disabilities – Support this!
LIFESTYLE IN SUPPORTED ACCOMMODATION (LISA) INC.
Tel: 03-9434-3810: Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
Web: www.lisainc.com.au : www.lisa-aus.blogspot.com
NOTE: We are always interested in feedback and information; general,
specific, good or bad. If you wish anonymously: Our mail address is,
73 Nepean Street, Watsonia, 3087