An integrated, promising future for Assistive Technology in NSW

8 October 2018

EnableNSW met with over 200 suppliers and prescribers at a forum on 12 September in Sydney to present their future vision and discuss current industry challenges and opportunities.

“Working with suppliers and prescribers is such an important part of our work – without them we cannot meet the needs of people who depend on aids and equipment for mobility, communication and self-care,” said Jackie Hillier, Manager of EnableNSW.

Attendees were from clinical fields – including occupational therapists, physiotherapists, speech pathologists, prosthetists and orthotists from private and public practice – as well as suppliers and repairers of a broad range of aids and equipment.

Many prescribers based in regional areas also live-streamed presentations, hearing about the latest developments without needing to travel long distances.

Key information presented on the day included:

  • Plans for greater integration with local equipment pools – a major new initiative underway to help streamline access to Local Health District short term loan pools. The objective of this work is to facilitate faster discharge from hospital for people who need equipment and to help fill the gaps between current short term and long term equipment options.

    “With only 23 per cent of attendees indicating they can usually get the right equipment when it is required for discharge or to keep people out of hospital, this was a very popular session,” said Jackie. “There was an overwhelming endorsement of this initiative, with 83 per cent of survey respondents indicating they thought we had the right approach.”
  • An update on the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) transition – many attendees were keen to clarify how EnableNSW works with the NDIS. An overview of how many have transitioned from EnableNSW to the NDIS was provided, as well as clarification of the people, programs and services that remain with EnableNSW. Dr Lloyd Walker, Director of Assistive Technology for the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) also provided an overview of a new approach for assessing Assistive Technology needs, which will soon be tested.
  • Smarter, sustainable procurement in action – an overview of the effective use of contracts to purchase and provide aids and equipment, use of and access to the purpose-built EnableNSW Equipment Centre, savings and benefits to the community (for example, reduced wait times) and upcoming procurement initiatives.

For a copy of forum presentations, please email enable@health.nsw.gov.au.

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