Review of Disability Support Services

News article

11 December 2013

The Ministry of Health is pleased to receive the independent review of the performance and quality management processes for disability support services released by the Minister of Health.

The independent review panel, led by consumer advocate David Russell, was asked to assess how well the Ministry’s current evaluation, monitoring and management processes support the safety and well-being of people with disabilities, and provide recommendations for improvement.

This review is a valuable evaluation of the current system and we welcome the recommendations on how we need to keep the disabled person at the centre of everything we do, to give them a voice in the decisions that are made, and to keep them safe when they have something to say.

The messages we have heard from the sector are clearly reflected in the findings of the report.  We understand that we need to be looking at a whole of system approach to ensure future decisions and actions are taken in partnership with disabled people.  We also know we cannot make the necessary changes without the support of our clients, families and their providers.

The Ministry has been making good progress on implementing a number of changes that address some of the recommendations, including increasing our collaboration with the sector, establishing a governance group to lead the discussion on future improvements, refocusing the requirements around provider reporting, changing our service specifications to become performance improvement tools, and simplifying our complaints processes to be more responsive.

We recognise the need to have clear expectations, both of ourselves, and of providers so that we have a shared understanding and commitment to ensuring consistent quality of care is being delivered to every disabled person, in every residential facility, every day.  We have a collective responsibility in making sure this happens.

Our initial response to the recommendations will be to appoint an appropriately skilled person to oversee the implementation of the recommendations including prioritising actions and identifying the resources required to support the implementation.  This appointment process will commence in early 2014.

The Ministry is strongly committed to ensuring greater transparency around all aspects of performance and quality management of provider services.  As a demonstration of our commitment, we will be making audit reports and evaluations publically available on our website after the next round of reporting in early 2014.

Jill Lane, Director National Services Purchasing, National Health Board in the Ministry of Health

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