Lydia Mc Williams
2018 HAS BEEN A PRETTY BIG YEAR FOR EVERYONE (YOU INCLUDED I’M SURE), AND THERE IS NO DOUBT THAT IT HAS BEEN ESPECIALLY TRANSFORMATIVE, BUSY AND CHALLENGING FOR ALL THOSE WHO WORK WITHIN THE DISABILITY SECTOR HERE IN AUSTRALIA. WORKING WITH MANY OF THE LEADING ORGANISATIONS WHO PROVIDE THESE SERVICES ACROSS THE MELBOURNE LANDSCAPE, IT IS PRETTY CLEAR TO ME THAT THE SECTOR HAS INDEED GONE THROUGH IMMENSE CHANGE IN THE PAST YEAR.
In order to recap on these changes to share with you in this weeks blog, I took a look at the State of the Disability Sector Report for 2018 which NDS recently released. This report finds that while disability service providers remain committed to the NDIS, the majority (73%) believe that many of it's systems, processes and procedures need drastic improvement, urgently. Some of the challenges which appear to be holding it back from making these 'neccessary' improvements include policy uncertainty, unrealistic pricing and costly red tape which is ultimately driving up their costs.
The Centre for Social Impact at the University of New South Wale conducted an independent survey this year whereby 626 disability service providers across Australia, both small and large, shared their views on how the sector and their organisations have been doing this year, both the good and the bad, as well as sharing the factors which they feel is placing pressure on their organisations at a time of immense change for the sector. Feel free to read each of the below bullet points if you are curious as to what these findings were:
- Providers voiced that they will continue to support the NDIS and that they remain committed to getting it right and making it work. (According to the findings, 50% agree that the policy reforms are heading in the right direction, 25% are unsure and 27% disagree).
- NDIS systems and processes continue to be a source of frustration. (Almost three in four service providers stated that the NDIS systems and processes are not working well for them, their organisations or their staff).
- The operating environment remains a difficult one. (13% have discussed the possibility of closing in the past 12 months).
- Workforce challenges remain front of mind. (63% found it difficult to recruit disability support workers and over 70% said that recruiting allied health workers was extremely/moderately difficult).
- Adjusting NDIS pricing is a priority for the sector. (70% worry that they will not be able to provide NDIS services at NDIS prices and 54% say they would have to reduce the quality of services to meet current prices).
Despite these concerns, it appears that support amongst disability service providers for the NDIS remains strong. The proportion of providers who believe the NDIA is working well continues to increase (up 7% from last year). This in itself is an encouraging sign that the current NDIS issues can be resolved to ultimately result in the best possible scheme for its' providers and clients.
It has been a rewarding year for me and Project Resource Partners as we have partnered closely with many organisations who provide these disability services, assisting them to set up transformation teams, project management teams, PMOs as well as bringing in change management and communications specialists to assist these organisations through their transformation journey. We look forward to continuing these partnerships in 2019 and beyond.
I would love to hear your thoughts on this topic, please feel free to contact me for a confidential discussion.
Lydia Mc Williams
Project Resource Partners
Level 29, 360 Collins Street, Melbourne VIC 3000
T +61 3 9949 8100 D +61 3 9949 8106