NDIS: the end of small disability service providers?

Dec 13
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Delegates at our recent Disability Reform conferences have told us that they are worried about the impact the NDIS will have on small organisations.

Put simply, small organisations don’t have the cash reserves required to ensure their survival in a less certain funding environment.

The fear is that without them there will be less ‘choice’ in an environment where ‘choice and control’ is the aim of the game.

But its not all doom and gloom.  There are a number of small organisations who are taking proactive steps to ensure their survival in the new world.

One is Burnett Respite Services Inc. in Queensland.  Their General Manager, Peter Cullen, told delegates at our recent Implementing DisabilityCare reforms event about how they’ve entered into a coalition with other small providers to get the ‘economy of scale’ needed to prepare for the new funding arrangements.

Other organisations talked about the importance of having a diverse service offering and about thinking more like a business.

The survival of small service providers under the NDIS is a slow burning issue and we won’t see the true impact for a few years yet.  But it’s heartening to know that small organisations are being proactive and taking steps to ensure they stick around…

It’s crucial for true ‘choice and control’.


photo credit: chrisinplymouth via photopin cc

Submitted by Lindsey Eifler

Lindsey Eifler

Lindsey is a Senior Producer who specialises in conferences for the public and not-for-profit sectors. On Wednesdays and Fridays she has, arguably, the best office in the world; her home on the beautiful Central Coast.

4 thoughts on “NDIS: the end of small disability service providers?

  1. As a former Senior Policy Officer with ADHC and a former Senior Manager in NGO’s prior to holding a policy role position I agree that NDIS will impact on smaller NGO’s. I do however agree that smaller NGO’s and some larger ones, will need to behave far more financially responsible and far more financially accountable to their funder. Trying to keep a record of finance, service outcomes and staff force skill within the current disability system is near impossible.

    To ensure better outcomes and transparency we need the NGO’s to stop expecting a recurrent funding stream and start working to be re-funded in a competitive market. I say, yeah good start behaving like a business in a competitive market. Let the market forces sought out the survival of the fittest.

    1. As a current ADHC case manager, I couldn’t agree more with Gina’s comments; we were only talking about this issue recently. Services, including ADHC (for as long as we are still here) need to step up their game on being accountable. I’m supporting my clients now to think that the NDIS is already here I’m our area to challenge service provision so that they aren’t being taken advantage of anymore. As for me, with the enablement act being passed, I’d much rather “transfer” to my own private practice instead of an NGO but viability is still a worry.

  2. Thanks Gina for your comment, It will definitely be an interesting time to see how it unfolds for the smaller and larger NGOs

  3. It’s not so much the end of small disability providers but the opening of an opportunity for small providers to work collaboratively with other small providers in a merger way to become bigger and better managed service providers. Small disability providers should try to forge relationships with others in the sector to achieve great things together.

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