ACI Intellectual Disability Health Network Annual Forum 


5 April 2019: Agency for Clinical innovation (ACI) Intellectual Disability Health Network Annual Forum

Some new initiatives by NSW Ministry of Health were announced at the Forum. Louise Farrell, Director, Priority Programs Unit, Health and Social policy Branch outlined the new program to upskill health staff across NSW about intellectual disability. 6 new ID expert multifunctional teams will be set up across the state operating in or next to the 16 hubs of the Local Health Districts by June this year. Two of these teams will also have a mental health practitioner (psychologist or psychiatrist) for 3 years. Care plans would be developed by these new teams with a refocused model of care. A network approach would be introduced between the teams and the ID Mental Health Hubs at Westmead (children) and Concord hospitals (for adults). Ms Farrell spoke of leveraging off the soon to be developed National Disability Strategy to implement these changes across the NSW health sector successfully. Aimee Blackam, Mental Health Branch of NSW Ministry of Health spoke about the prevalence of mental illness among people with an intellectual disability – 40% presenting that way. These people with complex needs require more support and there are opportunities for action using mental health reform, NDIS, ID Health Teams and the existing IDMH/NDIS champions networks.

It was also announced that there will be a new NDIS Residual Functions Project with $4.3 mm of funding for 3 years that can be used by NSW Health for complex case management.

Elizabeth Palmer, a geneticist spoke about developing information and support resources about genetics. Tracey Dudding-Byth spoke about her global digital “Genetics of Learning Disability (GOLD) Face Matching project” that will enable a quicker and more accurate diagnosis of a child’s disability. Steven Davison, Director Social Policy Implementation, Govt Relations Branch, NSW Min of Health spoke about Health and the NDIS interface. In NSW 102,532 people are in the scheme (as at 31/1/19) of which 70,000 are previous ADHC clients. 87% have been handled by NDIA but 13% have had challenges that needed the close involvement of the Min of Health. A new pathway has been established – “Critical Services Incident Response” that enables a direct link between NDIA and Min of Health for these complex cases. NDIA are also setting up now the Complex Support Needs Pathway under David Coyne (ex Director of ADHC). 25 specialist planners will be operating by June. Min of Health is also building on better local relationships with mainstream colleagues in other Govt departments like housing and forensic services to better support people with complex needs as they leave hospital or jail.

Teresa Dao