Disability support service Nardy House has been forced to stop much-needed respite care due to ongoing issues surrounding the roll out of the National Disability Insurance Scheme.
Board member and project manager Denise Redmond said NDIS payment issues have seen the charity struggle to be paid for its services since October 2016, when it began transitioning into the scheme.
“Honestly it’s a nightmare,” Ms Redmond said.
“In October 2017 we hadn’t been paid anything for the bulk of our respite clients [for 12 months].”
Ms Redmond said it was only after pressure from Eden-Monaro MP Mike Kelly’s office the facility received any payments for clients under the scheme.
Dr Kelly said he had met with the Nardy House leadership team and understands their frustrations.
“It seems incomprehensible that this vital service can be put at risk as a result of teething problems during the roll out. It is also extremely disappointing that this matter has been dragging on for more than six months without resolution,” he said.
One of the issues Ms Redmond said she is facing is with the scheme’s quotation process, which the NDIS website says is designed to identify the cost of care.
Ms Redmond said there is no capacity in the NDIS templates for accurate reporting of registered nurse supervision in the Supported Independent Living component of the scheme.
For example, while a client may require three nurses to help them turn over in bed, a nurse ratio of two to one – and only in full hour blocks – is all that’s allowed to be inputted on reporting templates, Ms Redmond said.
“I don’t understand how service providers are filling out templates that are incorrect,” she said.
“How am I supposed to pay my registered nurse wages? I can’t fill it in and I refuse to. I’m not going to fudge figures.”
As a result, Nardy House is now only able to offer limited respite services.
Ms Redmond said she has “exhausted all avenues” in trying to fix the system.
“This isn’t right, I’m over it. I can’t solve it, but I’m willing to sit down with someone to work it out.”
The NDIS has been contacted for comment.