Feros Care launches NDIS services in Canberra

Residents living in Canberra and across the ACT will now have better access to National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) services, with Feros Care opening a permanent office near the city centre. The new Local Area Coordination (LAC) office, located in Phillip, was officially opened today by State Minister for Disability, Youth and Children, Rachel Stephen-Smith MLA, and Feros Care chief executive officer, Jennene Buckley. The office, which employs 27 staff, is designed to connect members of the community with the Federal Government’s national disability scheme. Ms Buckley said its establishment would greatly assist those living with a disability. “In partnership with the National Disability Insurance Agency, the role of Feros Care Local Area Coordinators is to link people with disability to the NDIS, provide information about community and mainstream supports available in the region and build the capacity of the community to be inclusive of people with disability,” Ms Buckley said. Feros Care is a ‘Partner in the Community’ for the NDIA, operating across Townsville, Mackay, ACT, Northern Adelaide and the Barossa in South Australia. This is the fifth NDIS LAC office that Feros Care has opened, which Ms Buckley said was testament to the valuable role they played in other areas. “We’re really proud of what we’ve been able to achieve in other communities across the country and we’re pleased the Government has given us the opportunity to...

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Delivering quality in the NDIS

Surviving and thriving in the NDIS is intrinsically linked with the ability to understand and deliver quality to the consumer. With the early 2018 establishment of the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission drawing attention to the policy side, successful organizations are proactively and critically looking further into their understanding, measurement and delivery of quality. The Delivering Quality in the NDIS Conference will address the following tough questions: What does quality actually look like to the consumer? How do we measure the impact of what we are delivering? Do we understand the true unit cost of delivering quality – are our models financially sustainable? How do we develop a model to focus on our strengths? Can we differentiate the quality of our services via our marketing and communications? What actions can we take right now to improve the quality of our service? Who will attend? Senior executives & management from disability support providers with responsibility for: Quality assurance/systems Strategic business development Risk & compliance Customer experience Service delivery NDIS...

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Expert urges NDIS providers to learn from the UK’s mistakes

An international expert in economics and social services has warned Australia to learn from the UK’s mistakes in its transition to the NDIS. In an interview with Pro Bono News, Dr Shereen Hussein from King’s College London, said attention needs to be given to implications on care service quality and integration with health and other social services. She also said consideration needs to be given to increased risks of worker stress and burnout in a market-based model. “There are workforce pitfalls that we are also struggling with in the UK. These relate to the concept of the viability of the market.” “That care is now a commodity and for the market to progress you want a competitive arena, and for consumers to be able to exercise authority in their choices.” “The geography and diversity of the Australian population call for careful considerations of potential challenges associated with the NDIS, such as thin markets, viability of services for people with multiple or complex needs, and availability of quality workers.” “If you are a person with complex needs you may not have enough markets to meet those needs. There are organisations that cannot provide for all of those needs simply because there are not enough consumers in that group. So then you would be left with no choice or a very expensive choice. So the market forces are quite weak.” Dr...

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WA remains committed to fast tracking new aged care facilities

Western Australia’s new Minister for Health has offered up very little of Labor’s plans to address issues impacting local aged care providers in his first official engagement to the industry this week. Deputy Premier and Minister for Health, Roger Cook, addressed attendees at a LASA event on Thursday in what was supposed to be an opportunity for providers to hear what the new Government has in mind. However, delegates say it was clear the new Ministry is still sorting itself out and many are not confident the Government has a real understanding of aged care programs or issues beyond the need for additional facilities. While Mr Cook told providers there is land available for new facilities, the Minister for Seniors and Ageing, Mick Murray, told a local paper last month there are 3,500 Commonwealth bed licenses not being used and the McGowan Government is determined to fast-track new aged care developments. “As Minister for Seniors and Ageing, I will have a strong focus on making sure WA’s older people are looked after well, our services are affordable, and facilities are kept to a high standard,” Mr Murray said. “There are now more pensioners in this State than under 16-year-olds and the number of people aged over 85 is set to double in the next 20 years.” “The McGowan Government will fast track the establishment of much needed additional aged care facilities to improve the quality of...

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Transition funding for NFPs

Eligible not-for-profit providers in NSW can apply for the second round of funding under the Transition Assistance Program. The program, run by ACSA and the NSW Department of Family and Community Services, Ageing, Disability and Home Care (ADHC), provides grants of up to $15,000 to providers that are expanding into disability services. It has been designed specifically to grow the disability services market in NSW through projects that promote service expansion and conversion. The delivery service area scope for the funding round has also been expanded to include metropolitan areas, after being limited to regional areas in the first funding round in 2016. ACSA CEO Pat Sparrow said the organisation was pleased to continue its partnership with ADHC, manage the application process for the program and distribute the $600,000 available under TAP2 to successful organisations. “Under TAP2, eligible organisations that have transitioned to the NDIS can apply for up to $15,000 in grant funding to be used to progress the next step of enhancing their operations in the NDIS market place,” Ms Sparrow said. “This is a great opportunity for small organisations across NSW to gain funding to expand or change their organisation’s service offering under the NDIS.” TAP2 funding cannot be used for any expenses that would be considered ‘business-as-usual’ or transition activities to complete NDIS transition, like carer salaries, office expenses (e.g. stationery), capital expenses (e.g. renovation...

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