Submission to the Joint Standing Committee on the National Disability Insurance Scheme on Market Readiness

Lachlan Searle

The Parliamentary Joint Standing Committee on the National Disability Insurance Scheme called for submissions in relation to an inquiry into NDIS Market Readiness. Our submission (lodged on 2 March 2018) discusses the impact of both organisational transition requirements and NDIS pricing on organisational viability and workforce structure and quality and safeguarding. The submission recommends:

• Government should consider a programme to support the providers of psychosocial services to re-orient their business practices and service delivery models to ensure a viable market that provides choice to NDIS participants.
• Support coordination for NDIS participants with psychosocial disability should be provided by service providers and not be a support that is contracted by the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) to Local Area Coordinators.
• The NDIA should investigate specific funding arrangements for providers to work with people before they become and NDIS participant.
• The NDIS Price Guide should be amended to include a specific support item for psychosocial support.
• That the NDIA considers a range of pricing arrangements which move beyond hourly pricing and provide greater incentive for providers to focus on participant outcomes.
• The NDIA should fund and assist the development of a whole of NDIS industry-plan led by the non-government sector.  The plan should include specific actions relating to development of the psychosocial disability workforce and take account of broader mental health workforce strategies, maximising the use of the peer workforce.
• The NDIA should regularly publish an NDIS National Psychosocial Disability Market Position Statement incorporating workforce numbers and qualification levels.

The submission also discusses the experience of NDIS participants with psychosocial disability in preparing to engage with the new market. It notes that Mental Health Australia is currently undertaking a consultation process in relation to the experience of NDIS participants with the Scheme and will report to the NDIA on this issue at the end of April 2018.

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NDIS, psychosocial supports, mental health, NDIS Act