The GP connect program, which was rolled out in Mackay earlier this year, is also running in Townsville, South Australia and the ACT, as part of 27 Feros Care ILC projects currently assist people to reach their goals and live their best lives across our five Local Area Coordination (LAC) regions.
When seeking access to the NDIS, patients and their carers regularly ask GPs for support in providing general information, advice on eligibility, evidence gathering and assistance with documentation, and the program is designed to equip GPs and their staff with the information and skills necessary for assisting people.
Making the process easier through connecting with the program, the Information, Linkages, and Capacity (ILC) project provides GPs and their staff with a multi-faceted approach to:
- Helping patients understand the NDIS
- Guiding patients through the access process
- Referring patients to NDIS community partners and other treating professionals for information and support, where appropriate
- Providing evidence to support an Access Request
- Documenting that the patient has or is likely to have a permanent disability
- Providing copies of reports or assessments relevant to the diagnosis/condition to help describe the functional impact of an impairment.
The Mackay roll out saw industry professionals come together for an information session to learn about the program, and how it could assist in providing knowledge, understanding and skills for best practice.
HOW THE GP CONNECT PROGRAM IS ASSISTING HEALTH PROFESSIONALS
With the responsibility of not only identifying potential participants, but assisting them with the process, Mackay GP City Superclinic owner John McIntosh said the project was crucial in providing GPs with the skills to assist people with their NDIS access requests.
“It will be beneficial for general practitioners and patients alike,” he said.
“The program is really important because GPs really need to know how to fill in the (NDIS required) information properly, because if they make errors, that patient doesn’t get the support they need.”
A key aspect of participants reaching their goals in conjunction with support from the NDIS is through seeking and accessing employment opportunities.
After beginning work in disability employment with Community Solutions Mackay, Jillian Alleume said the information session better equipped her with the knowledge necessary for working with participants to secure the best outcomes.
Feeling confident in the GP Connect program’s ability to make a difference, Jillian said it was great to get a thorough insight into how the program would work.
“The presentation was really good, and after beginning work in a disability employment services agency, it was great to get the whole, bigger picture of the project, and an understanding of the NDIS,” she said.
“I’m working with a grant provided through ILC funding, so, it was great to get a full understanding of what the processes are.”