One Step Forward Two back report by Macarthur Disability Services

ONGOING ISSUES: MDS team members Tony Badry, Jeff Scobie, Vanessa Vale, Maria Poulopoulos, Julie Deane (not in order) with the report. Photo: supplied
ONGOING ISSUES: MDS team members Tony Badry, Jeff Scobie, Vanessa Vale, Maria Poulopoulos, Julie Deane (not in order) with the report. Photo: supplied

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According to Macarthur Disability Services (MDS) CEO Jeff Scobie, despite 18 months of operation NDIS has yet to hit the mark.

The One Step Forward Two Back report commissioned by MDS found service providers had ongoing issues with the NDIS and aged care reforms across South West Sydney.

MDS CEO Jeff Scobie said the report aimed to establish how people were travelling with the changes and find solutions to the problems.

The report was prepared by Carrie Hayter Consulting which spoke to service providers across South West Sydney including the Wingecarribee from February this year.

Mr Scobie said MDS had more experience with the NDIS than it did with the aged care sector.

Accessibility of information and services was a key concern addressed in the report, particularly for people with a disability, older people and people from culturally or linguistically diverse backgrounds.

Mr Scobie said many people were currently having their NDIS plans reviewed after 12 months, which had created complications for many of the service providers and their clients.

“People are saying you’ve got to expect teething issues with some enormous change in this sector. But by just dismissing it, it detracts from the human impact.

“Some people have seen a reduction as a result of a review for no obvious reasons.”

A lack of consultation with service providers and clients was also brought up in the report.

“Providers expressed deep concern about the participants experiences of NDIA planning processes with some participants not having their reasonable and necessary supports met under the NDIS,” it said.

The report also raised providers concerns that they had not played a large enough role in the planning process of recent reforms and were struggling to understand them.

Mr Scobie said he was a “huge supporter” of the principles that underpinned the NDIS but believed the implementation had missed the mark.

The report said there was “a significant risk that planning processes are not meeting people’s reasonable and necessary supports”.

Mr Scobie said how people with a mental illness fared under the NDIS was another concern.

“We have people with a mental illness transition to the NDIS and not doing as well as we would have hoped.

“We have some people that have had a significant, persistent mental illness that are not eligible. And those that are eligible, their plans are not hitting the mark.”

Many of the recommendations in the report involved service providers across the region working together and “facilitate strategic conversations” around the ongoing issues.

“It’s a local solution to what are global issues. We’re looking to work more collaboratively and work together to make it a smoother transition.

“The report speaks for itself. There’s some solid strategies in there.”