The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) and the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) are working together to make it easier for GPs to help their patients with disability navigate the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).
The RACGP and NDIA have co-designed new resources to guide GPs in supporting their patients through the NDIS, or more easily identify if patients could be eligible to benefit from the Scheme. The resources are available online here.
The NDIS is designed to help people living with a significant and permanent disability live their best life. The NDIS is now available across the country and currently supports more than 400,000 Australians with disability.
RACGP Spokesperson, Dr Lara Roeske, who is also mother and carer of a son living with disability, said the new resources are a positive step forward to improve the experience for patients.
“We welcome this opportunity to engage with the NDIS to improve the experience for patients and their families navigating the NDIS.
“GPs play a very important role in helping patients navigate the scheme. A GP is often the first place people turn to for healthcare, and we are also a key entry point for patients to the NDIS.
“GPs are often involved in the crucial early stages of working through a patient’s potential Scheme eligibility. We assist patients in information gathering, providing relevant documents and supports, and we remain caring for our patients throughout their NDIS journey, and can help our patients to navigate that journey and ensure they have the right supports.
“As a mother and carer of a son living with disability, I know navigating the NDIS can be challenging for patients and their families. GPs have also found it difficult, and we recognised there was great scope to improve the involvement of general practitioners, and in turn the experience for patients.
“The RACGP’s engagement with the NDIS and our new co-designed resources for GPs are a positive step forward.
“GPs can offer a great deal of insight to inform and improve the experience for those seeking Scheme access, as we support patients throughout their NDIS journey, from entry point and onwards. We have a role to play as GPs and advocates for our patients with disability.”
NDIA Spokesperson, Shannon Rees said the NDIA was grateful to the RACGP for its feedback and support to ensure these new resources informed GPs about NDIS criteria, the process of eligibility and accessing the Scheme.
“It was really important that we developed resources that were practical, informative and useful. These resources have been co-designed with GPs, for GPs – so they can more easily support their patients who might be wanting to apply for the NDIS.
The new GP resources include a suite of practical training videos, a checklist guide to considering a patient’s NDIS eligibility, and a brochure with information on how other stakeholders, including NDIS partners, allied health professionals and practice nurses, can support patients to navigate the NDIS.
The introduction of independent assessments, which will remove existing barriers to accessing the NDIS, in addition to these resources will further support a more streamlined process for patients seeking access to the NDIS.
An accredited GP Continuing Professional Development training module has also been developed.