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Demystifying the scheme

We are an approved NDIS provider, but what does NDIS really mean for you?

You’ve almost certainly heard of the NDIS. It’s one of the biggest changes happening in Australia right now, but it’s confusing to many and anxiety is high in some. This is understandable – we’re instinctively wired to treat change as a potential risk to our safety, and this change is deeply personal for nearly half a million Australians.

Perhaps the best way to embrace the changes of the NDIS is to understand its purpose and objectives, because no doubt there will be early stage teething issues and some may have bad experiences through the transition to full scheme rollout, but the intentions are quite noble, respectful and should prove beneficial. So whilst there’s a lot of information on the NDIS website, we would like to present some of our thoughts here, that will hopefully reduce the anxiety of some of those impacted by the changes.

Control and Choice

At the core of the NDIS is a shift in the flow of funds away from organisations that deliver care, directly to the participants or their delegated agents. This should result in more control and care choices in the hands of the recipient. In situations where the previous scheme may have allowed services and supports to be delivered without the recipient’s choice of preferred provider, the NDIS should now allow for a major say. This shift in control should ensure that service and support providers are fully motivated by customer satisfaction. Those providers that do not maintain a high level of customer satisfaction will lose business, opening up opportunities for better providers to grow.

Competition

By shifting control to the recipient (or their delegate) providers now need to compete for their business. Competition is good. It promotes better service, encourages innovation, drives quality up, forces prices down and customer satisfaction has a meaningful impact on the bottom line. At a macro level this should translate to an overall more effective translation of government funding into disability supports and services.

Participation

A core objective of the scheme is “to enhance the independence, social and economic participation of people with disability and their carers.” The NDIS will deliver a societal benefit by improving the quality of supports and funding reasonable and necessary supports to enable more effective participation society and in the economy. Perhaps that’s the reason for the shift from “patient” to “participant” in their terminology. Improvement in participation also delivers a financial benefit for the massive $22bn budget investment. In a similar scheme in the UK, the return is estimated to be nearly 1.5 times – for every dollar invested in the NDIS scheme Australia may reasonably expect a profitable return for the investment.

How This Affects Us

We are also impacted by the NDIS changes. And we embrace them, as we hope you might too.

  • Increased Customer Satisfaction is core to our offer. If we do not make and maintain happy customers then we have failed
  • Increased Competition is welcomed. Our focus is on delivering products that hit the “value” sweet-spot, where price is low and quality is high, and it is all delivered with the customer experience in mind. Being cheaper and better than others will translate to customers embracing our offers
  • Increased Workforce and Social Participation gives our work meaning – it’s a dominant factor in our motivation. Going to work is not simply a pursuit to sell more. If our work allows for more people to participate in society, in work or otherwise, then there is meaning in what we do

Other Information

If you’re new to the NDIS then you should start at the NDIS website.

An eloquent summary of the scheme was delivered by actress Kiruna Stamell on the ABC’s Q&A recent program of 5 June 2017 (click on the link on the right of that page to start at time 44:41)