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MDHB welcomes decision to be first region to implement new national transformation of the disability support system

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​The MidCentral District Health Board welcomes the Government’s decision to be the first region to implement a new national transformation of the disability support system announced by Associate Health Disability Issues Minister Nicky Wagner.

The new system will include:
•         Access to independent facilitation to assist people to be aspirational and feel connected to their community
•         A strengths-based assessment process
•         A personal budget for disability support (made up of funding from multiple government agencies)
•         Flexibility and choice about how to use the personal budget, and a range of options to assist its management
•         Capacity building opportunities for disabled people and their families
•         Referrals to other agencies for additional services including learning and income support.
Ms Wagner said: “The new system will incorporate a social investment approach to improve outcomes for individuals and achieve savings over the long term. Additional funding has been allocated to run the co-design process, establish a change leadership team and collect baseline data.

“The current system does not work well for all disabled people. What we are working toward is a new system, based on the Enabling Good Lives (EGL) vision and principles, including individualised funding.

“The transformation will build on lessons learnt from EGL demonstrations in Waikato and Christchurch, as well as evidence from New Zealand and overseas.”  

Why was the MidCentral region chosen first to implement the national transformation?

The Minister said: “To understand what we need to put in place to make the transformation sustainable, and the impact the transformation has had on people’s lives, costs, and system infrastructure, we believe it is best to start implementing the national transformation in an area where there had not been any other initiatives.

“This will ensure that before we begin system transformation, we can collect baseline data on the support offered by the ‘traditional’ disability support system in order to ensure any changes are making a positive difference.

“We chose the MidCentral region because:
• there have been no previous initiatives in this region
• the region has around 1500 clients receiving disability support services
• it has a good mix of clients living in both urban and rural areas
• a significant Maori population (20% of the population is Maori), and
• the disability community is ready and keen to support change.”

MDHB chief executive Kathryn Cook welcomed the Government’s decision to begin implementing the national transformation in MDHB’s region.

“Our region is a leader in supporting people with disabilities, and their living requirements, and has over many years successfully managed national contracts in supporting people with disabilities retain independence to remain in their homes for as long as they can.

“Our latest initiative is our successful EASIE Living and demonstration centre, in Palmerston North which this week celebrated its first birthday and is a one-stop-shop for all things disability. 

“It is a great honour to be part of the new co-design process, which means representatives of disabled people, families, providers and government agencies work together to develop a design for the transformed system. This will include working through challenging issues to find solutions that will meet the needs of disabled people and their families.”

Enable New Zealand, an operating division of the DHB, provides under 65 disability support services for this region and will play a key role, along with the disabled community and the Ministry to design the new system.

General Manager Scott Ambridge said: “This represents a fantastic opportunity for the disabled community in our region to be at the forefront of a transformation that will revolutionise how disability supports are provided. Enable New Zealand is extremely excited by this announcement and is looking forward to partnering with the Ministry through the design process.”

Who will be part of the transformation in the MDHB region? Anyone in the MDHB region who meets the Ministry of Health’s Disability Support Services eligibility criteria, which includes those with an intellectual, physical or sensory disability that arise before they turn 65 years old, will be eligible to access support under the transformed model.

Contact: Communications Unit (06) 350-8945

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