The NDIA’s participant numbers for Outer Eastern Melbourne are similar to those of Inner Eastern Melbourne in that both peak later while other regions are below their average and remain below average for their last 9 months. However, the two have a number of differences and Outer Eastern Melbourne will have it’s own advantages and challenges.
For starters, Outer Eastern Melbourne launches very slightly below its average (-2%). It then builds to only +10% in it’s second quarter before leaping up +92% above average in its third quarter. This means Outer Eastern Melbourne peaks sooner and higher than Inner Eastern Melbourne.
Outer Eastern Melbourne also stays above average when cooling from its peak, with the NDIA putting participant numbers at +28% above average. While this is still a steep decline and one that continues with the next quarter down to -43% below average, it is a decline over 6 months rather than 3.
What will make Outer Eastern Melbourne more difficult than Inner Eastern Melbourne for the chosen LAC Partner is the final 9 months of the contract. These bounce from -43% below average, to -59% below average to -26% below average quarter to quarter. This suggests an unclear volume looking out beyond June 2019 and from a quarter on quarter change perspective will mean a lot of flexing back and forth over short 3 month periods.
Other than the first 6 months of the contract, the Outer Eastern Melbourne LAC will see big changes from quarter to quarter in every 3 month period. While this does give 6 months to build up scalable systems for Local Area Coordination, managing these ups and downs of staffing every 3 months will likely be a challenge.
Retaining and developing quality staff with this profile of forecast work load will be difficult and a transient workforce may impact the quality of service for NDIS participants. Given the importance of local knowledge for LAC staff to provide an effective service, the need for staffing changes every 3 months and the associated short term contracts may make it difficult to recruit and retain the right staff.
These challenges are particularly clear when looking out beyond June 2019. The quarterly fluctuations in the NDIA’s participant numbers for Outer Eastern Melbourne over the last 9 months give little indication of the longer term outlook.
For participants, big changes in volumes may result in inconsistent quality of service, particularly during the big leaps (ie. From +10% above average to +92% above average) between quarters. This inconsistency continues throughout the contract period and with no trend apparent beyond 2019 (assuming the NDIA continues to outsource LAC services), it will be a challenge for the chosen partner to get their systems and staffing right to deliver a consistent quality service for NDIS participants.
This analysis is provided for CareNavigator.com.au by The Healthy Organisation