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MSWA Bulletin Magazine Summer 2021

COVID-19 Vaccination Advice from Professor Carroll AM | The Role of the Local Area Coordinator | Continence Physiotherapy | Counselling: Men, Let's Talk

CUSTOMER ENGAGEMENT TEAM

CUSTOMER ENGAGEMENT TEAM THE ROLE OF THE LOCAL AREA COORDINATOR (LAC) The year 2015 was significant for many different reasons. A guy call Bruno Mars had us all dancing to something called ‘Uptown Funk’ while Star Wars: The Force Awakens returned Han Solo to our screens for the first time in 32 years. However, perhaps most importantly, we started to see the what the NDIS would look like and how the new disability scheme would function. One significant announcement was that the Productivity Commission would be allocating around 0 million per annum to allow the NDIA to employ Local Area Coordinators (LACs) with the stated goal of connecting people with disability to services and improving the way mainstream services support people with disabilities. Like most things there was a slight delay in getting started with the two companies picked to deliver the LAC services across WA (Mission Australia and APM) not commencing services until the last half of 2019. Nevertheless, once commenced these positions proved a valuable resource for you to help get the most out of your plan. The main role of the LAC is to be the visible ‘face’ of the NDIS. The NDIA is a massive organisation where it is sometimes hard to find someone to have an actual conversation. Therefore, LACs provide participants with a human interaction and help to bridge the gap between themselves, the agency and service providers such as MSWA. So, what exactly do LACs do and how do they connect with MSWA’s team? PLANNING Once you are deemed eligible to receive an NDIS plan you will be allocated a LAC who will meet with you to develop a plan. It is important to note that your LAC does NOT approve your plan. They send recommendations to the NDIS planners, who make decisions about what is reasonable and necessary. It is also important to remember that these planning sessions are about you. No matter what the LAC says, you can advocate for the services and/or service providers that suit you. The plan should suit your life, not the beliefs of the planner. If you are not happy with your plan, speak to your LAC about it. Finally, do not forget that MSWA’s Customer Relationship Coordinators are also here to help during these planning meetings and will happily support you with pre-planning sessions and attend planning meetings. PLAN REVIEWS Despite the best efforts at planning, at times participants will find that their active plan is no longer suiting their service needs. This is where LACs become very important. Remember these people are the face of the NDIS so if the scheme is not working for you, ask them what they can do. It should be noted that LACs are not available for ongoing case management support, MSWA’s Customer Liaison Coordinators (CLCs) provide that service. But it does mean that the LACs should be available if your plan is not meeting your needs. COMMUNITY LINKAGES LACs also have an important role in developing more inclusive communities for people with disability, leading to increased opportunities and choices for you outside of the funded scheme. LACs can help you to understand what community supports are available in your local area and assist you to link to these supports. One word of caution – as noted in the previous Bulletin – the introduction of the ‘Independent Assessors’ will likely have a significant affect on the planning and plan review process so the long-term role of Local Area Coordinators may change, however for now they remain a valuable resource that can be called upon. A good relationship between you and your LAC is important. While MSWA’s team will do whatever we can to help you get the most out of your plans, there are limits to our ability to influence the Agency. That is where LACs come into the picture by providing a direct link into the NDIA. They are paid to help. So, make sure that they do. GEOFF HUTCHINSON MANAGER CUSTOMER ENGAGEMENT 14

NEW STAFF AT MSWA MSWA would like to introduce you to some of our new managers, who you may encounter when receiving our services and support. CRYSTAL CHAN MANAGER – OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY I started with MSWA as Manager of Occupational Therapy in December 2020. I have worked and managed teams within the not-for-profit sector in the last decade. As an OT, I have had previous experiences within Aged Care, Vision Rehabilitation and Workplace Modifications. Most recently I have spent time managing allied health teams in areas of NDIS and paediatrics and have enjoyed seeing growth in staff in their professions and with each other to achieve common goals. My passion in the field of occupational therapy has always been to promote a person’s independence and I count it a privilege to be able to journey with the Client and see them grow and achieve their goals. I am excited about being able to lead and work with the MSWA Occupational Therapy team – whether it is providing equipment, therapy or supporting family members – they all do it with a smile on their face knowing that they have made a difference in the Clients’ lives. JAMES BECKETT MANAGER – PHYSIOTHERAPY I came to work at MSWA as a physiotherapist a little over two years ago, seeking a more rewarding place of work. After beginning at our Rockingham and Mandurah facilities I quickly realised that MSWA was where I wanted to be, which is why I’m delighted to be the new Manager of Physiotherapy. I have worn many hats over the course of my career working as a coach, an exercise physiologist and a physiotherapist to name a few. I have worked in elite sport and in private practice but have come full circle to end up back in the disability sector where my real passion lies. The common theme across my career is that it has always been about people and helping them to get the best out of themselves. I plan to approach my new role in the same way – by supporting my outstanding team, to together provide the best possible services to our Clients. VICTORIA AMEY COMMUNITY SUPPORT MANAGER I am the new Community Support Manager at MSWA, having commenced in November 2020. I have worked primarily in the community services sector with a lengthy background in the aged care and carer sector along with experience at the WA Department of Health. I have a passion for working to support people to remain living in their home with the individualised supports to meet their needs. 15