Ageing, Disability and Home Care (ADHC) is the largest and most experienced provider of disability services in NSW, setting performance and employment standards across the sector. It employs over 14,000 people and delivers 40% of all disability services in NSW. It has unparalleled expertise in working with people with high and complex needs. ADHC staff currently care for people living in group homes and provide community care services, such as physical therapy and mental health support and provide respite care for families.
As the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) was rolled out, the Government decided to stop providing disability services and sold off ADHC. This deprives thousands of people with disability the choice of service and, in some cases in regional areas, removes the service completely.
People with disabilities and their families are anxious that they won’t be able to access the same quality and variety of services, especially in regional centres where service providers will be limited. This may leave people, in particular those with high or complex needs, without much needed help and no safety net to catch them. Private and disjointed services will be based on cost and business models rather than the specialised needs of clients.
This privatisation also short-changes committed disability workers, who are being forced over to a private provider. Thousands of experienced care providers across the state will be lost. A recent Public Service Association (PSA) survey showed that up to 50% of staff will chose to leave the disability sector all together rather than work for a private provider and face significant cuts in pay and conditions.
Disability services help to make the lives of the most vulnerable people in our community easier, and we all benefit when people with disability don’t fall through the cracks. The only way we can put people before profit, and not leave those who need help at the mercy of ill-equipped private providers, is to ensure that the government retains a vital role in providing disability services through ADHC.
The total privatisation and dismantling of ADHC services will leave no-one to look after the most vulnerable people in our community.