to the challenges presented.
Hunter PIR commenced receiving referrals in November 2013, several months after the commencement of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) in the Hunter trial site on 1st July. The concurrent operation of both programs provides a significant opportunity to learn from their combined experience. The Hunter Region is unique in that it is the only Year 1 2013/14 adult NDIS launch site which also has a Partners in Recovery (PIR) Program.
This paper describes a number of general findings that have emerged relating to access, the application process and the ‘lifelong’ versus ‘recovery’ concept in the NDIS. In addition, key issues have emerged relevant to Hunter PIR and the NDIS relating to the category ‘coordination of supports’, the recognition of Hunter PIR’s contribution including ‘Tier 2’ (‘Information, Linkages and Capacity Building’) and the risk of Hunter PIR-eligible people being excluded from the NDIS due to a range of barriers.
In the long term PIR is described as 70% ‘in-scope’ for the NDIS. There is a significant risk that if a diminished version of PIR is absorbed into the NDIS, following the cessation of its funding in June 2016, a number of gains achieved from the investment of PIR may be lost. Given there is ongoing review of the NDIS, it is hoped that our findings and recommendations may be useful for the NDIS to consider going forward, especially in relation to psychosocial disability. It is imperative that people with psychosocial disability are given the best possible outcome under the NDIS. PIR may well be a useful starting point to review the NDIS design.