Transfer of NSW govt disability services to the NGO sector
Transfer of NSW government disability services to the non-government sector
NSW CID and other major organisations released a position statement in May spelling out what we see as needed if the NSW Government’s process for tendering out its services is going to work satisfactorily for people with disability and their families.
The position is a joint statement with Carers NSW, Family Advocacy and NCOSS.
The statement is here and covers issues including:
- Consumer and independent input to the tender process.
- Ensuring a diverse market of service providers so that people can change providers from the one chosen by ADHC.
- Safeguards for people with complex needs including independent advocacy/decision support, monitoring by the Ombudsman and establishing provider of last resort arrangements.
- Continuity of health services funded by ADHC.
Also in May, ADHC released its call for expressions of interest from service providers wishing to tender for ADHC services.
This is at http://ndis.nsw.gov.au/about-ndis-nsw/transfer-of-nsw-disability-services/
NSW CID welcomes that this information is now available and that the tender aims to continue at least to 2018 a range of very important services for people with complex needs, for example the Statewide Behaviour Intervention Service. We are pressing the NDIA the urgency of it having a clear plan for meeting complex needs including maintaining the role of services like SBIS.
We are very concerned about some of the NSW government's plans including the large size of the groupings of services that will be tendered out. For example, ADHC’s 352 group homes and respite services will be tendered out in 18 regional service groupings.
This means an average of about 20 homes in a tender.
We welcome that the government does not plan to transfer real estate to service providers but are very concerned by the government's plan to give leases of group homes to the service providers that win tenders. This is likely to limit the scope for people with disability to change service providers if they want to.
We also welcome a commitment by ADHC to set up a new information service so that people with disability and their families can get information and discuss any concerns they have about the transfer of services process. We have emphasised to ADHC that this service should be independent and run by an organisation or organisations with skills in working with people with intellectual disability and their families.
NSWCID and some other major advocacy groups now attend regular executive briefings with senior ADHC staff where we have the opportunity to press community concerns. We welcome this initiative by ADHC.
Key priorities that we and other groups are currently pressing with the NSW government are:
- Having independent consumer, family and professional representation on panels considering expressions of interests and tenders for services.
- Ensuring a strong arrangement with the Ombudsman to monitor and report on transition from ADHC into NGO services for people with complex needs.