Captive Market Apathy by State & Federal Governments
The concept of captive market is that of a service having no competition, so they can do as they wish. The customer has no choice – “Take it or leave it!”
Traditional disability support services have been captive market since inception as a charity-hand-out for people with intellectual and multiple disabilities to move into institutions.
State governments block-funded and controlled all support services, government and non-government. There was, therefore, a common culture that consumers (people with disabilities and their stakeholders) should consider themselves lucky for what they got, and never complain. Those who did/do complain were/are intimidated and punished for daring to question anything - especially those within government direct services.
Direct care staff in government (DHHS) direct-care support services are also intimidated and punished for daring to question any aspect of service provision and the management thereof. They are encouraged to, “Take the pay and look the other way!”
Like consumers, staff are told by their management, if you don’t like what is occurring - leave. There is never an acceptance by DHHS public service management of complaints being tools to service improvement, as they, with their head in the secure well paid job bucket, deny there are service deficiencies.
There is no acceptance by DHHS management of complaints, to the extent that they encourage matters being taken to the various so-called complaint bodies, as DHHS management have little fear these bodies will do other than support them Any matters raised by consumers or staff is considered just their opinion, to be avoided, denied and ignored by DHHS public service management.
The so called complaint bodies in Victoria are, The DHHS Complaints Unit, The Office of the Public Advocate, The Office of the Disability Services Commissioner, The Health Services Commissioner, The State Ombudsman and VCAT.
The extent to which complaints and matters of concern are dismissed, both individual and systemic, by the above government and pseudo government bodies is awesome - driving both staff and consumers away. Which is the intention, of course!
Whereas, consumers should be encouraged to identify and report issues of concern, and be treated as always right. As the recent KPMG Report says, “House Supervisors and staff should actively encourage family and friends of residents to visit the House regularly, and create an environment that welcomes visitors”.
This is complemented by DHHS Policy and Standards, page 6, “What is Evidence”:
Evidence allows service providers to demonstrate they meet the requirements of the standards, criteria and evidence indicators. The gathering of evidence to verify and confirm the implementation and effectiveness of processes and systems may be achieved through the following methods:
• review of documents — such as policy, procedures and records
• interviews with staff, carers, volunteers and management
• interviews with people who use the service and other
• observation of the physical environment and staff practice.
The National Quality & Safeguarding Framework, together with the NDIS Act 2013 will eventually replace state disability regulations. Such as in Victoria: DHHS Care Policies, Standards and Values, and the Disability Act 2006.
The main question is, who will monitor the intentions of these national regulations to ensure people with disabilities and their stakeholders get heard. Rather than they being told, "Your findings are just your opinion, and the service provider knows best". Resulting in consumer having to fight through level upon level of bloody minded bureaucracy, or give up and walk away, which consumers have done since time immemorial.
Will it be similar under the NDIS, where consumers are intended to have choice and control, service entitlement and be valued. Or, is the NDIA gearing itself up to take over the role of the DHHS to maintain traditional public service power over people.
Extra 1: Commonwealth’s strong preference for WA to join the NDIS on a similar basis to other states and territories, says Minister Porter
Extra 2: Victoria to introduce licensing of disability workers – Premier announces
Extra 3: HACSU Report on Disability Services in Victoria
Extra 4: HACSU Forum, Box Hill, Victoria – 22 February 2017
Extra 5: The needless deaths of people with intellectual disability
must be urgently addressed, Professor John McMillan says -
9 Feb 2017
Extra 6: NDIS service providers under DHHS control
Extra 7: National Quality & Safeguarding Framework - Comment
Extra 8: National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) Costs -
Extra 9: Australia Human Rights Commission –
National Consultations 2015 - 2017
Extra 10: National Disability Strategy Second Implementation Plan –
Submissions close 17 March 2017.
Extra 11: Work and Service Delivery Audits
by the Australian National Audit Office
Extra 12: LISA NDIS Chat Room
NOTE: We are seeking contact with those living in group homes,
especially DHHS group homes under NDIS, and/or their families
to ascertain what they feel has improved under the NDIS.
LIFESTYLE IN SUPPORTED ACCOMMODATION (LISA) INC.
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