Preventable poor health outcomes for adults with intellectual disability in health settings have been known about for years. Subsequent analysis and the sorts of reasonable adjustments required in health and disability support settings to address these health gaps are well described, but have not really been embedded in practice in any significant way in either setting. As far as health is concerned, implementation of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS, the Scheme) affords an opportunity to recognise individual needs of people with intellectual disability to provide reasonable and necessary functional support for access to mainstream health services, to build capacity of mainstream health providers to supply services and to increase individual capacity to access services. Together these strands have potential to transform health outcomes. Success of the Scheme, however, rests on as yet incompletely defined operational interaction between NDIS and mainstream health services and inherently involves the disability sector. This interaction is especially relevant for adults with intellectual disability, known high users of hospitals and for whom hospital outcomes are particularly poor and preventable. Keys to better hospital outcomes are first, the receiving of quality person-centred healthcare from physicians and hospitals taking into account significance of intellectual disability and second, formulation of organised quality functional supports during hospitalisation. Achieving these require sophisticated engagement between consumers, the National Disability Insurance Agency, Commonwealth, State and Territory government leaders, senior hospital and disability administrators, NDIS service providers and clinicians and involves cross fertilisation of values, sharing of operational policies and procedures, determination of boundaries of fiscal responsibility for functional supports in hospital.
NDIS, adults with intellectual disability, hospitalisation