The Victorian Government Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) have released a series of questions and answers for residents of group homes, their families and staff. They are about the transfer to non-government service providers in the transition to the NDIS. We picked out a few highlights from the 11-page DHHS Q&A factsheet.
What happens with records? What will transfer?
DHHS’ Answer: To make sure that new providers continue to deliver quality and safe services that are tailored for each perspirant from day one, copies of current records will be transferred to new providers as part of transfer residents. This includes behaviour support plans, participant health records and other critical information. DHHS will continue to store older, archived records and make them available on request.
What happens if the provider stops operating or fails the performance monitoring check?
DHHS’ Answer: DHHS will monitor the performance of providers until the end of 2025. If there are concerns about the quality of services or the ability of providers to continue operating, DHHS will work with the provider to address the issues.
If the issues are serious enough for a contract to be ceased, or for the National NDIS Quality and Safeguarding Commission to consider deregistering the organisation as an NDIS provider, the Government will take the necessary action to ensure the safety and wellbeing of residents.
How will providers be held accountable for their performance?
DHHS’ Answer: Successful providers will be contractually required to meet a range of quality and safety conditions under a strict performance and monitoring regime being established by the Victorian Government.
Under the regime, providers will be required to put in place regular feedback surveys with residents, families and staff. These will be designed in consultation with residents and families and a dedicated team within DHHS will monitor the information collected and services they deliver.
There will be sanctions for providers who fail to meet the mandatory requirements and DHHS will work with providers to address and remediate the identified issues. Providers will also be accountable under the new NDIS Quality and Safeguarding Framework which includes annual accreditation, oversight by the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission and continuation of a community visitor scheme.
What if there are staff vacancies at a group home?
DHHS’ Answer: Throughout 2018 and until services transfer, DHHS will continue to recruit to fill staff vacancies. Following the transfer, the new provider will recruit to fill vacant positions.
Casual workers are also included in the transfer, which means that when temporary replacement staff are required, successful providers will have access to those staff already familiar with residents’ support needs.
What happens to communal items, or items that DHHS has purchased such as furniture, kitchen equipment and hoists?
DHHS’ Answer: DHHS is currently undertaking an inventory of equipment or furniture that Government has purchased for residents/houses. Of this, items used by individual residents will be gifted to residents, and communal items will be made available to the new provider to manage on residents’ behalf.
Items that residents have purchased themselves will continue to stay at the house with residents.
These are just some of the questions that DHHS has answered for residents and their families. Download the 11-page PDF from DHHS for more.