Changes com­ing to dis­abled ser­vices

Bush Telegraph - - HEALTH & WELL BEING - By STEVE CARLE´

There are ma­jor changes com­ing to the way in which dis­abled peo­ple and their wha¯ nau can gain ac­cess to the ser­vices and sup­ports they need to en­able them to live full and mean­ing­ful lives, ac­cord­ing to Lorna Sul­li­van, direc­tor of dis­abled per­sons & whanau sup­port for Mana Whaikaha.

“The new dis­abil­ity sup­port sys­tem, Mana Whaikaha, will be­gin in the Mid-Cen­tral DHB re­gion on Oc­to­ber 1. This is be­ing de­scribed as a ‘pro­to­type’ as we try, learn and ad­just the pro­cesses de­signed to give the dis­abled per­son and their wha¯ nau greater au­thor­ity over how they wish to live their lives and how they want any dis­abil­ity sup­port funds to be spent.

“Mana Whaikaha is based on the En­abling Good Lives vi­sion and prin­ci­ples. The old sys­tem of Needs As­sess­ment or NASC will no longer ex­ist. In­stead, peo­ple will be able to work with a con­nec­tor or kaitu¯ hono to sup­port them to think about what their hopes and as­pi­ra­tions are for their lives, what re­sources might be avail­able within com­mu­ni­ties and fam­i­lies to sup­port th­ese as­pi­ra­tions, and what re­sources might need to come from gov­ern­ment-funded sup­ports,” she said.

“Mana Whaikaha also sig­nals a change in the way any gov­ern­ment-funded sup­ports can be used, with the de­ci­sions over how the fund­ing gets used, what sup­ports are pro­vided, who pro­vides th­ese sup­ports and when they are pro­vided be­ing de­ter­mined by the dis­abled per­son and their wha¯ nau. This makes a shift from all fund­ing be­ing paid to providers of ser­vices and peo­ple be­ing re­quired to fit into the pro­grammes and ser­vices of­fered, to dis­abled peo­ple and their fam­i­lies and sup­port net­works de­cid­ing where and what sup­ports to pur­chase.

“For peo­ple liv­ing in the Tararua re­gion there will be an op­por­tu­nity for you to learn more about Mana Whaikaha and th­ese changes by at­tend­ing a fo­rum at Tararua Col­lege Li­brary on Oc­to­ber 18 at 5.30pm. You will be able to hear more about how the sys­tem will work and to get to meet some of the con­nec­tors or kaitu¯ hono who will be work­ing in the Tararua re­gion,” she said.

“There are 1600 peo­ple in MidCen­tral who use dis­abil­ity sup­port ser­vices and the new sys­tem, Mana Whaikaha, is de­signed to pro­vide them with more con­trol and de­ci­sion mak­ing over their lives and sup­port,” said Linda Skates, se­nior com­mu­ni­ca­tions ad­viser, Min­istry of Health.


The new sys­tem, Mana Whaikaha, has been co-de­signed over the past 18 months with dis­abled peo­ple and wha¯ nau, and oth­ers in the dis­abil­ity sec­tor. It is based on the En­abling Good Lives vi­sion and prin­ci­ples* and aims to:

■ pro­vide dis­abled peo­ple and wha¯ nau more sup­port op­tions

■ give dis­abled peo­ple and wha¯ nau greater de­ci­sion mak­ing over their sup­port

■ im­prove out­comes for dis­abled peo­ple and wha¯ nau

■ cre­ate a cost-ef­fec­tive dis­abil­ity sup­port sys­tem.

Why change?

Dis­abled peo­ple and wha¯ nau have been calling for change for a long time with their lives hav­ing to fit around al­lo­cated dis­abil­ity sup­port ser­vices, spread over too many places:

■ the cur­rent sys­tem pro­vides one-size fits all sup­port

■ sup­port and fund­ing is frag­mented

■ it’s been about what the sys­tem needs (eg as­sess­ments for el­i­gi­bil­ity), not the dis­abled per­son and their wha¯ nau

■ dis­abled peo­ple have poorer life out­comes than many other New Zealan­ders

■ there are ris­ing costs — and un­clear ev­i­dence about cost ef­fec­tive­ness.

Try, learn, ad­just

A ‘try, learn and ad­just’ ap­proach is be­ing taken with the pro­to­type.

Dis­abled peo­ple, wha¯ nau, providers, work­force, gov­ern­ment agen­cies, and staff will pro­vide feed­back on what’s work­ing and fur­ther op­por­tu­ni­ties to im­prove the dis­abil­ity sup­port sys­tem.

Who is el­i­gi­ble?

To be able to use the new dis­abil­ity sup­port sys­tem, Mana Whaikaha, you will:

1. Live in the MidCen­tral DHB re­gion, which in­cludes Tararua district.

2. Have a dis­abil­ity:

■ which is phys­i­cal, in­tel­lec­tual, sen­sory or ASD, or a com­bi­na­tion of th­ese

■ that is likely to con­tinue for at least six months

■ that lim­its your abil­ity to func­tion in­de­pen­dently, to the ex­tent on­go­ing sup­port is re­quired

■ be un­der 65 years old, in most cases

■ be a New Zealand cit­i­zen or per­ma­nent res­i­dent.

More de­tailed in­for­ma­tion on Dis­abil­ity Sup­port Ser­vices cri­te­ria can be found here:­vices-and-sup­port/ dis­abil­ity-ser­vices/get­ting­sup­port-dis­abil­ity/am-i-el­i­gi­blem­i­nistry-funded-sup­port­ser­vices*.

3. In ad­di­tion, all chil­dren and young peo­ple in MidCen­tral with de­vel­op­men­tal de­lay are el­i­gi­ble for in­ten­sive early in­ter­ven­tion sup­port. This means a di­ag­no­sis is not re­quired for chil­dren and young peo­ple with de­vel­op­men­tal de­lay to be el­i­gi­ble. It is recog­nised that early ac­cess to sup­port can have a sig­nif­i­cant pos­i­tive im­pact on fu­ture out­comes.

Key fea­tures

The key fea­tures of Mana Whaikaha, the new sys­tem, are:

■ Peo­ple are wel­comed into the sys­tem in mul­ti­ple ways, and can then be pro­vided with in­for­ma­tion, and linked with a con­nec­tor, peer net­work, gov­ern­ment agency or dis­abil­ity or­gan­i­sa­tion

■ Con­nec­tors are an ally for dis­abled peo­ple and their wha¯ nau, who can walk along­side, if wanted, to help iden­tify what they would like in their lives, how to build that life and the range of sup­ports.

■ Easy to use in­for­ma­tion and pro­cesses.

■ Seam­less sup­port across gov­ern­ment — one place to find out in­for­ma­tion about all dis­abil­ity sup­port and as­sis­tance to con­nect to other gov­ern­ment sup­port.

■ A straight­for­ward pro­cess for ac­cess­ing fund­ing, with flex­i­bil­ity about what can be pur­chased and easy re­port­ing on how fund­ing has been used.

■ Ca­pa­bil­ity fund­ing for dis­abled peo­ple and wha¯ nau, with de­ci­sions made by the MidCen­tral Re­gional Gov­er­nance Group.

■ Greater sys­tem ac­count­abil­ity to dis­abled peo­ple and their wha¯ nau who are in­volved in mon­i­tor­ing and eval­u­at­ing the sys­tem, and mak­ing rec­om­men­da­tions.

Fund­ing use

The Gov­ern­ment has al­lo­cated $23.842 mil­lion over two years to im­ple­ment the pro­to­type in MidCen­tral, and to con­tinue the Waikato and Christchurch demon­stra­tions.

■ Con­tact Mana Whaikaha from Oc­to­ber 1 by: Call — 0800 626 255 or 0800 MANA 255 (live on 1 Oc­to­ber.) Email — info@man­ Web­site —­ (live on Oc­to­ber 1.) * En­abling Good Lives vi­sion and prin­ci­ples

MEM­BERS of the MidCen­tral Lead­er­ship group, oth­ers in the dis­abil­ity sec­tor, and Min­is­ter for Dis­abil­ity Is­sues Carmel Sepu­loni and As­so­ciate Min­is­ter of Health Julie Anne Gen­ter in Palmer­ston North.

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