NDIS success dependent on cross-sector collaboration

04 August, 2014

Collaboration across governments and services is critical in the success of the National Disability Insurance Scheme for people with complex health and disability needs, reveals a new report by the University of Sydney and the Young People In Nursing Homes National Alliance.

Ros Madden from the University of Sydney's Centre for Disability Research and Policy says the report highlights that disability is a whole of government issue and cooperation with mainstream services must be a key objective for the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).
"The NDIS will give people funds to purchase services and supports from disability service providers but most will still require access to mainstream services like health, education and housing," Madden said. 
"The design of the NDIS provides the perfect opportunity to rethink the complexities of how these services work together, in fact the sustainability of the scheme and its ability to improve people's lives depends on it.
"Some people require very active support to find their way through these systems and get the right mix of services."
Dr Bronwyn Morkham, Head of the Young People In Nursing Home National Alliance, says many young Australians with a disability require services from numerous areas of the human services system at the same time but rarely get them as the systems often don't work well together.
"Instead of returning to their lives and their families in the community, too many of our young people end up living in nursing homes or hospitals because services do not collaborate effectively," Dr Morkham said.
"As our report indicates, cross sector collaboration will not only deliver the integrated services young Australians with disability need, but will help the NDIS deliver on its social and economic objectives."
The report explores best-practice examples of coordination currently occurring in the disability sector and recommends the NDIS roll-out incorporate and trial potential models.
"The disability and health fields have the knowledge, it just needs to be applied," Madden said.
The report, Cross sector service coordination for people with high and complex needs: Harnessing existing evidence and knowledge, was supported by funding from the National Disability Insurance Agency.