NSW in Focus by Debbie Jaggers, August 2023
Providers worried about preparing for the new PACE computer system by September will be happy to hear the recent NDIA announcement that the national rollout has been postponed until 30 October.
At its August meeting, the NSW Divisional Committee heard first-hand from a Tasmanian provider involved in the trial about the challenges with the PACE system. NDS continues its call for further system improvements and an expansion of the trial before the national rollout.
Mentally healthy workplaces
As many of you are aware, SafeWork NSW visited 40 disability service providers in Newcastle to perform checks on psychosocial hazards. Providers were advised ahead of time and SafeWork gave them compliance information before the checks. Nevertheless, a few providers received notices.
Workers compensation claim data shows psychosocial hazards, which can cause stress and lead to psychological and physical harm, are prominent in the disability services sector. We will be working with SafeWork NSW to host a webinar for members on the lessons learnt from the checks and the tools available for providers to reduce psychosocial hazards in the workplace.
I am receiving very positive feedback from providers who have used the new Workplace Wellbeing Assessment Tool. As part of the NSW Mentally Healthy Workplace Strategy, SafeWork NSW developed this free digital tool to survey your staff and get tailored improvements to your workplace.
NSW Divisional Committee
There was a lot of interest in the five new members joining the NSW Divisional Committee. I will provide some introductions and updates soon.
IPART Review: NSW early childhood education and care sector
Several providers were involved in a consultation hosted by NDS with IPART on the affordability, accessibility and consumer choice in early childhood education and care. IPART have published an information paper, with the interim report due out this month. There will be further opportunities to provide views before the final report is released to the NSW Government in December.
We held our first regional forum of this financial year in Maitland on 27 July to discuss the challenges and opportunities in the disability sector. Bringing together disability providers, people with lived experience of disability, Maitland City Council and the Hunter New England Local Health District, it was a great chance to network after two years of COVID-19. Look out for more of these forums in 2023-24.
I have also appreciated the opportunity to visit disability provider services in recent weeks hearing about the challenging operating environment. NSW Divisional State Committee Chair Philip Petrie and I will pass on what you told us in our meeting with Minister Washington at the end of August.
Quality and safeguarding
The NSW Quality Network connects quality leaders with their colleagues for information and discussion. At its latest meeting in August, the network had an update from the Voluntary Assisted Dying Implementation project team. We are receiving very positive feedback from attendees about the benefit of the network. If your organisation wishes to get involved, please contact me: submit enquiry/feedback
And if you are looking for clinical services for your clients, there is a new referral option. The Centre for Disability Studies is opening a new health service for people with intellectual disability. The service is called the Complex Care Service (CCS) and is for adults with intellectual disability who have complex health needs that can’t be met by another service. More information can be found on the CDS clinical services webpage.
Until my next blog, stay safe and well.