Maintaining Continuity of Supports for NDIS Participants
Published: 21 July 2021
Published: 21 July 2021
Providers of National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) services need to ensure that wherever possible, NDIS participants receive support without experiencing interruptions or changes to their care.
Providers should incorporate mechanisms into their policies and procedures to ensure operations run smoothly and allow for alternative arrangements to be made in the case of an emergency or staff absence.
In addition to optimising services, this continuity of supports aims to ensure that NDIS participants receive care that is predictable.
(Lifestyle Centred Services 2020)
Continuity of supports is a requirement of the NDIS Practice Standards under Core Module 2: Provider Governance and Operational Management.
This Practice Standard aims to ensure that NDIS participants receive timely and appropriate support without interruption (NDIS 2020).
NDIS providers must meet the following quality indicators:
The provider’s day-to-day operations must be managed in an efficient and effective way in order to ensure continuity of support and prevent delays (NDIS 2020).
In order to reduce disruptions to service, the provider should implement policies and procedures that address all foreseeable risks - for example, staff absences (WAAMH 2021).
Examples of how to ensure efficient and effective operations include:
(Lifestyle Centred Services 2020; WAAMH 2021)
If a staff member is absent, or there is a staff vacancy for any reason, an appropriately qualified and experienced person must take over the vacant role (NDIS 2020).
Therefore, in the case of staff unavailability, providers should have processes in place to recruit an appropriate replacement - possibly on short notice (WAAMH 2021).
Examples of how to ensure continuity of supports in the event of staff unavailability include:
NDIS participants should receive supports that have been planned in accordance with their specific needs and preferences. Needs and preferences should also be recorded in documentation and provided to all staff who commence working with the participant. This ensures participants receive care that is consistent with their wishes (NDIS 2020).
Participants’ needs and preferences should ideally be reviewed on a regular basis. Furthermore, participants should be able to provide feedback about whether they feel their needs are being met (WAAMH 2021).
It may be useful to develop documentation outlining key information for each participant, which staff can refer back to. This might include details such as:
Keep in mind that participants may have specific wishes such as wanting to receive supports from a worker who speaks their language or is from the same cultural background as them (Lifestyle Centred Services 2020).
Providers should have arrangements in place to prevent interruptions to the participant’s care during the period of their service agreement. These arrangements should be relevant and proportional to the scope and complexity of the services being delivered (NDIS 2020).
In other words, providers should be committed to delivering care for the specified duration of service and undertaking all responsibilities outlined in participants’ service agreements (WAAMH 2021).
Examples of how to prevent interruptions to services include:
Changes and interruptions to services are sometimes inevitable. However, in these situations, any alternative arrangements that are made must be explained to and agreed upon by the participant (NDIS 2020).
Always maintain a person-centred approach, even when things don’t go to plan (WAAMH 2021).
It’s always better to be proactive than reactive, so it’s essential that providers plan for changes and interruptions, and implement processes for addressing unexpected situations before they happen (WAAMH 2021).
Providers should have disaster preparedness and planning measures in place in order to ensure participants can continue to receive critical supports before, during and after a disaster (NDIS 2020).
These disasters might include:
Providers should undertake a risk assessment in order to determine disasters that could affect the delivery of services, and develop plans and processes for responding to and managing these situations (WAAMH 2021).
Question 1 of 3
True or false: Continuity of supports improves care outcomes.
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