People with less complex disability also need support

People with disability are high users of hospital services and people with unmet disability support needs are the most likely to use hospital services. Most HHS attention has focused on stranded patients with new disabilities who are waiting for NDIS before being discharged. This project seeks to focus on other people with disability with less severe disability who are often overlooked but are also high users of hospital services.

Example client:  man with mild/moderate intellectual disability and mental health issues who lives in a hostel with no formal supports in place. He has historically not been 'severe' anough to access disability support and does not have the literacy and skills to go through the new NDIS access pathways. He has frequent ED and hospital admissions due to poorly managed seizures and respitratory conditions. He has low medication adherence and often DNAs outpatient appointments. Who supports him to access the NDIS?

By assisting consumers with less severe disability and high hospital usage to access the NDIS, MSH may reduce avoidable admissions and improve consumer wellbeing and social connectedness.

This proposal seeks to create a small multi-disciplinary team to assist consumers with disability to access the NDIS. The team would work with MSH consumers who:

  • Have high rates of hospital admissions or ED presentations
  • Are not currently an NDIS participant
  • Are likely to meet the NDIS access criteria
  • Do not have support to navigate the NDIS access processes


  • Cannot be supported by other parts of MSH to access the NDIS (i.e. they have been discharged from hospital or referred by an ED or outpatient clinics which cannot assist the consumer through the NDIS Access process)

This team would have a mix of professions who are able to provide the relevant NDIS functional assessments and liaise with health professionals to gather existing evidence of disability.

Why the contribution is important

A lot of the MSH attention has been focused on long-stay patients with new and complex disabilities who are stuck in hospital until NDIS supports can be put in place. Many of these delays are due to complex national issues which are difficult to resolve at a local level.

People with less severe disability have historically not had access to disability support in Queensland and are very likely to use hospital services frequently. There are actions which we can take with this group to help reduce avoidable hospital use.

The NDIS will double the number of Queenslanders receiving disability support services but the Queensland roll-out is significantly below roll-out targets. Access to the NDIS and the gathering the evidence of disability is an identified NDIS access barrier for many people with disability.

NSW Health research shows that people with disability are very high users of hospital services. When compared with people without disability, hospital use by people with disability is highly correlated with hospital usage:

  • People with comprehensive Disability Support packages are 2.6 times more likely to use hospital services
  • People who receive minimal HACC services are 6.3 times more likely to use hospital services

By assisting people with less severe disability and high hospital usage to access the NDIS we can improve our consumers:

  • service navigation support and access to primary care and more appropriate health services
  • capacity-building and life skills development
  • personal care, self-care and ADL support
  • alternate supports and community participation

Assisting these consumers to access the NDIS helps to ensure connected care and may also lead to significant hospital avoidance.

by troyhakala on May 29, 2019 at 08:57AM

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