Disability Support Services aims to maintain positive partnerships with providers it funds, to ensure achievement of the best possible outcomes for disabled people within the available funding.
To help do this the Disability Support Services Group within the Ministry of Health hosts a provider forum annually. The purpose of the forum is threefold:
- to update providers on Ministry activities and initiatives
- to update the Ministry on provider-led initiatives
- to give providers the opportunity to learn from each other about what improvement initiatives have worked well and the learnings that can be shared.
DSS Provider Forums: November 2016
The Ministry of Health hosted five provider forums in the first two weeks of November, in Dunedin, Christchurch, Wellington, Hamilton and Auckland.
The purpose of the forums was to give providers an update on some of the work of the Ministry over the past year and for providers to have input into some of our strategy development work. In response to feedback from DSS’s survey of providers in early 2016, we changed the format of these forums, to allow more time for consultation with the sector.
The workshops sought providers’ input to the refresh of Whāia Te Ao Mārama (the Māori Disability Action Plan), and also to the development of the five service strategies (described further below). Group manager Toni Atkinson also gave an update on the future of disability support services, and a presentation of the results of the survey of people with disabilities living in residential services.
Feedback from providers and Ministry staff attending the forums was overwhelmingly positive. Disability Support Services is now using many ideas presented by providers to inform its work.