• Last winter was particularly cruel. Early this year I began seeking assurances from the NDIS minister that respiratory equipment was “life and death” unlike other AT, so applications should be expedited e.g. cough assists and also newer hybrid IPV/cough assist devices. A return phone call from the minister’s office in February assured me that approval delays wouldn’t be a thing in this COVID19 ‘climate’ nor having to plan ahead. However, the two written Ministerials I’ve received since, have been less forthcoming. Questioning this, I was reminded that due to the ‘current climate’ more urgent changes are being made to plans.
    For adults in particular, my intention was to help friends feeling defeated about applying to NDIS for a cough assist or IPV. I should have shared this sooner, but have had personal dramas and have been trying all over the world to source any contraindications for a lad with a defibrillator.
    Contact me for more info about the home care IPV, particularly adults who have frequent problems with secretions or who are finding chest infections hanging on, even with repeat courses of meds OR feeling their cough assist is less & less effective.
    I asked Michel Toussaint himself (Dr IPV) to write an IPV recommendation we can attach to NDIS applications, here:
    NB, I have no interests to declare – I remain a volunteer concerned about why we still only have CA’s and antibiotics, when Europeans have more tricks.. At least, the Technical Advisory Branch are taking an interest in IPV and they will be upskilling as a result of trying to add more weapons to our respiratory arsenal. As far as NDIS goes, I welcome comment as I’m simply sharing my advocacy and the responses.
    FYI, I hope these reminders from NDIS, inspire confidence when applying for secretion clearance devices in the ‘current climate’.
    • NDIS will consider all reasonable and necessary requests for assistive technology (AT) as required under the s34 criteria. This includes respiratory equipment that is required due to a participant’s disability, as part of their everyday life and to ensure respiratory function. This may include a Cough Assist machine if it is needed regularly for secretion removal as part of a participant’s everyday life. Regular use may be daily, weekly or yearly – it just needs to be noted as a regular need related to the disability. (note cough assists in inspiratory mode, may be used for regular lung exercise, as a lung volume recruitment tool)
    • NDIS supports will not extend to funding respiratory supports during an acute episode of illness or while the participant is in the hospital or clinical setting.
    • Any reasonable and necessary supports can only be accessed once approved and set out in an NDIS plan, therefore equipment should be requested as soon as possible to ensure provision of the support. NB NDIS plans can now be extended by up to 24 months, ensuring continuity of support and increasing the NDIA’s capacity to focus on urgent changes to plans.
    • NDIA has been delivering an extensive program of works to reduce delays and improve participants’ experience of the assessment and delivery of AT. The vast majority of all AT requests are currently being processed within 10 days. The time for approval may be less if there is a specific need that has been escalated to the NDIA. Participants who are experiencing delays in the progress of their respiratory support needs, should contact their LAC or the NDIS Contact Centre on 1800800110 to ensure that the requests can be actioned or escalated if needed.

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