Captivemarket to Marketplace with NDIS
The disability landscape in Victoria has always been captive market and restrictive practice as a direct result of the state government allowing its power broker, the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS/the department), to gain despotic control of almost every aspect of services for people with disabilities. The department has a finger in every pie, the total support and protection of every other government and pseudo government department, and now a foot in the NDIS door.
The department's finger in every pie extends to using its control of government funding of non-government/not for profit service providers to intimidate and frustrate them and their peak body to ensure they tow the department's line and never question its bureaucratic bungling.
This is In contrast to non government/not for profit service providers being funded directly from 'StateTreasury' with governance independent of the department. At least the department should be out of the funding-control contention when service providers are fully within the NDIS concept.
The department ensured a foot in the NDIS Barwon launch site by ensuring some of the state government's financial assistance to the NDIS contained an ‘in-kind’ agreement to allow them to provide part of the assistance as 'continuing to run' their existing group homes and other services in the Barwon area as an NDIS service, but at the department's support service funding level.
Barwon is the department’s launch-platform to help ensure it remains the service provider of its existing services throughout the remainder of the state as the NDIS extends from the launch site/s – even if this means the department using state government coffers to subsidise its costly and ill managed operations made attractive to its consumers by, (a) "you will always feel safe with government support" and, (b) "our group home residential charges are but a fraction of those charged by non-government service providers".
Whereas, one of the main intentions of the NDIS is to move service provision away from the captive market, charity-based, DHHS/DSR despotic control of, 'you should feel grateful for anything you get'; to entitlement and customer valued services in the consumer choice and control marketplace
With the department as a service provider under NDIS, there will be the same public service restrictive practices - issue avoidance and in-denial management unable to set, monitor and maintain direct care staff work values to ensure service delivery equals service intent. The department consistently protecting itself from consumer and public scrutiny, whilst its group homes run on staff integrity rather than proper management direction to ensure consistency of service over the largest service portion in the state – see below.
The Victorian Ombudsman outlines the Victorian disability landscape as:-
The disability sector in Victoria is complex. People with a disability live and work in a variety of settings, under a number of statutory regimes. The following elements broadly make up the sector:
• 14,593 people with an Individual Support Package
• 5,041 supported accommodation beds managed by disability
service providers; this includes 52 per cent directly provided by
Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and 48
per cent provided by community service organisations
• 4,930 beds in 143 Supported Residential Services (SRSs)
91 per cent of residents were reported to have a disability (2013)
• 296 funded organisations that deliver disability services
• 124 facility-based respite services
• 1,701 disability advocacy clients
• approximately 1000 high care clients of the Transport Accident
Commission (TAC) and WorkSafe Victoria.
Extra 1: NDIS Quality and Safeguarding Framework – 120 pages, 800Kb, Feb 2015
Extra 2: NDIS Quality & Safeguarding Framework Meeting Dates
Extra 3: NDIS Comment from South Australia
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