Rebecca Fletcher, Sunshine
Rebecca Fletcher, CEO of NSW-based disability provider Sunshine, reflects on the NDIS transition and the Sydney Participant and Provider Pathway Review workshop held in April 2017.
“Our challenges in relation to transitioning to NDIS are not unique to us, such as pricing, the myplace portal, Quality and Safeguards, housing and workforce shortages.
“We have been able to overcome some of these issues by developing a close working relationship with the NDIA team, the planners and the support coordinators. We have also rolled out significant training to our staff to ensure they are up-to-date with information and changes under the NDIS.
“One of the key changes from the introduction of the NDIS is the focus on the participant and the ability for the participant to be able to have flexibility and choose their own service provider. To adapt to this change we’ve introduced a number of new initiatives including a bespoke customer service training program for all staff, a significant increase in marketing and social media activity, and a feedback and complaints process. We have also expanded our Client Management System to track achievement of goals.
“We welcomed the opportunity to participate in the Sydney workshop and the general openness of the NDIA to feedback. This approach led to a free flow of ideas which will hopefully improve the experience for the remaining phases of rollout and for the annual review processes going forward.
“Our general approach is that we are all in this together and that we need to continue to work together to make the NDIS a success.
“Despite the difficulties we’ve all experienced with the initial implementation of the NDIS we remain positive about its benefits to people with disability. We continue to believe that the fundamental building blocks of the NDIS are correct and that we all need to work together to find a way to maximise the benefits for participants while developing a system that is practical and financially sustainable for providers and for Australia.”