Audit office inquiry highlights existing NDIS gaps

Today’s release of the Queensland Audit Office (QAO) inquiry looking into the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) transition shows there is much more work to be done to improve outcomes for Queenslanders with a disability, Queensland Alliance for Mental Health CEO Kris Trott said.

The QAO report highlights that Queensland is well behind its rollout targets, which is a significant risk as the 1 July NDIS rollout date for major centres including Brisbane, the Gold Coast, Logan, Redlands and Cairns draws closer.

Ms Trott said this was the latest report to highlight existing rollout issues that need to be addressed to ensure people interacting with the scheme achieved a positive outcome.

“There’s no doubt the NDIS is delivering encouraging outcomes for people, but that there are particular groups that are having less positive experiences with the scheme,” she said.

“While there is much work happening to improve pathways, individuals with psychosocial disability are continuing to highlight poor experiences dealing with the National Disability Insurance Agency. They highlight a lack of understanding of their unique situation and difficulties in applying for a plan.

“These are all factors in the low number of people with a psychosocial disability receiving approved plans.

“There are also ongoing issues in relation to the rollout amongst Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.

“Our members also remain concerned about the gap in services that could emerge for people who have issues, but don’t receive an NDIS plan.

“For example, approximately 64,000 people with a psychosocial disability will be covered under the NDIS, but as many as 690,000 Australians experience a severe mental illness.”

Ms Trott said she welcomed the QAO report and thanked the authors for the opportunity to brief them on issues of concern to the community managed mental health sector.

“While the QAO report has made important recommendations around improving scheme governance, we believe there should be a future focus on potential scheme gaps and what can be done to address them as well,” she said.

“This is a once-in-a-generation reform and it’s vital we continue to work together to get it right.”

Spotlight

The latest issue of Spotlight (12, 2018) has arrived. This edition includes all the latest sector news, including the release of the 2018-19 NDIS Price Guide and information on a new Federal Government pilot project to improve the treatment and care of people with eating disorders.