Putting People First quality review

The Ministry is making sure we’re doing what the quality review says we need to, in order to keep disabled people safe and put their needs first.

The review of disability support services looked into residential care for disabled people and made 36 recommendations focusing on:

  • keeping the disabled person at the centre of everything Disability Support Services (DSS) does,
  • giving disabled people a voice in decisions made, and
  • keeping disabled people safe when they have something to say.

More than 60 activities have been identified to achieve what the report recommends. These activities are being done in partnership with disabled people, providers and the wider sector.

We are making some improvements to Ministry processes and systems, and to improve provider performance. This is a big and complex task that the Ministry is committed to getting right.

We've developed some resources to help show our progress, which you can download below.


Read about the 36 recommendations.

Activities and their progress

Putting People First table of results

These files explain each of the activities, and how much progress we have made on them. They also show which of the 36 recommendations are addressed by each activity.

We've provided this information in several accessible formats. If you have any feedback about these formats, please email [email protected]

All activities

Activities and progress have been updated as at October 2016.

These resources show all the activities together.

Easy Read versions

We've explained what we're doing with the report in a different way, using the Easy Read method.

Further background

What is the Putting People First review?

This review (Putting People First – a review of Disability Support Services performance and quality management processes for purchased provider services) is the work of an independent panel who assessed how well the Ministry’s monitoring and management processes support the safety and wellbeing of disabled people. It was publicly released in December 2013.

Why was the review undertaken?

The disability sector told the Ministry that there needs to be greater transparency relating to all aspects of performance and quality management of Ministry-funded provider services.

Disabled people want a voice in decisions made about services that impact on them, their families and providers, and people want to feel safe when they have something to say about the quality of services they receive.

What is the Ministry doing to implement the review’s recommendations?

The Ministry has appointed Pam MacNeill as Quality Improvement Lead to oversee the implementation of the recommendations. A governance group monitors progress.

Three working groups have been established, with a total of more than 60 activities assigned to them under the headings:

  • hearing the voice of disabled people
  • improving performance management
  • supporting providers to put disabled people at the centre of their service.

How will we know we’re on the right track?

The Ministry is tracking whether activities are completed and incorporated into business as usual. Feedback is also be sought from disabled people and their families/whānau, and from providers and others in the sector. Val Smith, a representative from the Disabled Persons Assembly is a member of the Ministry group that monitors progress.

What do the changes mean for disabled people?

New ways of doing things and a stronger focus on having conversations and working together should mean that disabled people and their families/whānau feel there are more ways to have a say in the issues that affect them.

What do any changes mean for providers?

Providers are encouraged to try new approaches and to work differently. They are required to give disabled people and their families/whānau more of a say about the services they provide and how these are provided. The Ministry is also trying to make some things easier for providers when dealing with administration or paperwork.

When will all recommendations be implemented?

The implementation project has a two-year timeframe (to July 2016) but some recommendations or activities may take longer to fully implement. Regular updates are provided on progress.

How does this work fit with wider Disability Support Services work?

Implementing the Putting People First quality review is one of the priority areas contained in the updated Disability Support Services Strategic Plan, published in May 2015. That plan sets out a four-year vision and guides all of DSS's work. It was developed with input and guidance from stakeholders to ensure it reflects a shared direction and commitment to the vision and related activities. 

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