07/11/2014 - 16:18

Providers gear up for NDIS

07/11/2014 - 16:18

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The state’s largest providers of disability services have overhauled their operations as the launch of the National Disability Insurance Scheme nears.

Providers gear up for NDIS

The state’s largest providers of disability services have overhauled their operations as the launch of the National Disability Insurance Scheme nears.

Both the Activ Foundation – Western Australia’s largest charitable organisation – and Rocky Bay have reported the 2013-14 financial year as particularly challenging as they attempt to prepare for the scheme.

When introduced, the NDIS will give clients more control over the disability services they receive, with the aim being to increase competition among providers in the disability sector.

Trials of the federal government’s scheme are being held in the Perth Hills, while the Barnett government’s version – NDIS My Way – is being trialled in the South West.

In Activ’s just-published annual report, chief executive Tony Vis said the foundation supported the principles behind the scheme with its focus on giving people living with disability more control.

In light of the upcoming changes, Activ has developed a new strategic focus and launched an individualised service model to give clients more choice and control.

“The development of the service has not been all smooth sailing as the individualised services methodology challenges Activ’s previous manner of operations,” the annual report reads.

The foundation has managed to navigate the changes while still improving revenue, which was up 6.9 per cent to $84 million.

Its surplus reduced significantly, mainly due to costs increasing by $8.2 million compared with a year earlier.

Employee benefits were the largest cost at $67 million and rose partly due to the workforce increasing by 137 staff.

Similarly, Rocky Bay has reported an overhaul of its operations, with a seven-month review process resulting in a new strategic plan.

The plan is intended to guide Rocky Bay through the next two to three years as the NDIS comes into effect.

Rocky Bay also increased its revenue, which was up 22 per cent from $26.8 million in the 2012-13 financial year to $32.7 million for the year ending June 2014.

Its operating surplus for the most recent year was $2.8 million.

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