Hospital discharge during COVID-19

Working together to help people leave hospital

During COVID-19, EnableNSW is supporting patients who are eligible for the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) to leave hospital sooner.

Rather than waiting for the arrangement of long-term disability support through the NDIS, as soon as patients are medically ready, they can loan suitable mobility and self-care items and receive minor or temporary home modifications via EnableNSW. This temporary pathway ensures people can safely manage their condition at home or in short/medium term accommodation.

The enrolment/referral form outlines the assistive technology (AT) requested for loan or short term use, as well as providing a referral to the NDIA to ensure long term needs are incorporated into a revised plan.

Why was this pathway introduced?

This pathway is a temporary measure in response to COVID-19. The goal is to free up hospital beds to ensure Local Health Districts (LHDs) have the right level of resources to deal with COVID-19 and to reduce the risk of patients staying in hospital longer than necessary.

Who can access this pathway?

  • Any person who is a confirmed NDIS participant
  • Any person under 65 with a newly acquired disability (even if they haven’t applied to the NDIS)
  • The person is medically ready to leave hospital and requires immediate access to equipment to support discharge
  • The person has a discharge plan in place, including accommodation in the community
  • Note that people over 65 years of age who are in a similar position may use the existing Consideration of Exceptional Circumstances pathway

Who is eligible to prescribe discharge equipment using this pathway?

Health professionals in a public hospital who can prescribe equipment and home modifications within their scope of practice and registration requirements.

What can I request?

  • Self-care and mobility equipment (including power wheelchairs) available statewide at Equipment Centre
  • Minor or temporary home modifications (such as grab rails, modular ramps, and portable bathrooms)
  • Other items may be available on discussion with the senior project officer managing this pathway

How can I access this pathway for my patient?

Health professionals who know of suitable patients for this pathway may start the application process at any time. They are encouraged to work with LHD Transition Leads and NDIS Health Liaison Officers to determine the suitability of anyone under 65 who is medically ready to leave hospital.

Step 1

Email HSNSW-EnableDRP@health.nsw.gov.au with the subject COVID-19 hospital discharge for NDIS. You will receive a confirmation email with an enrolment/referral form

Step 2

  1. For standard self-care and mobility equipment, complete the Stock Equipment Request Form (SERF). For items outside of the stock range, clearance or power wheelchairs please call 1800 362 253 (option 5) and ask for the senior project officer managing this pathway.
  2. For minor or temporary home modifications please call 1800 362 253 (option 6) and ask for the home modifications advisor managing this pathway. The relevant forms will be emailed following the phone consultation.

Step 3

Submit your enrolment/referral form and equipment request forms to HSNSW-EnableDRP@health.nsw.gov.au and you will receive a confirmation email.

Step 4

EnableNSW provides the enrolment/referral form to the NDIA so the participants NDIA plan can be amended to include funds for assessment and provision of long term AT needs and home modifications.

When can the person expect delivery/installation?

For standard equipment received through the EnableNSW Equipment Centre (EEC), we will aim to organise delivery within 3-5 days from receiving the necessary paperwork. For more complex items such as access to the Power Wheelchair Allocation program, the wait may be longer depending upon demand and potential supply chain issues due to COVID-19.

Wait times for minor or temporary home mods will vary and you should speak to the home modifications advisor about this.

How long is the loan period for?

The loan period is for up to six months. This will give the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) and the person sufficient time to identify long term equipment for full community participation.

How will the person access their long term equipment?

EnableNSW provides the enrolment/referral form you complete to the NDIA to enable them to make arrangements through the persons plan for their long term needs.

How long will this pathway be in place for?

We anticipate this pathway will be in place for at least six months. We are continuing to monitor COVID-19 and will let you know if this changes.

Where can I find more information?

If you need to speak with someone, please call 1800 362 253 (option 5) and ask for the senior project officer managing this pathway.

Alternatively you can send an email to HSNSW-EnableDRP@health.nsw.gov.au with the subject COVID-19 hospital discharge for NDIS.