Help for Therapists and Health Practitioners
Writing Reports for NDIS Access and Plan Reviews
The primary role of NDIS reports from health practitioners is to provide evidence that assists decision-makers at the NDIS.
You need to get the words right to write effective supporting documentation for people with disabilities and complex support needs seeking NDIS access or NDIS plan reviews. By 'right' we mean in the format/language the NDIA understands.
Different systems often use different terminology and come with their own jargon. It's important to realise that the health system and the NDIS do not use the same jargon. Knowing how to convey the right information, in the right words, from the health system to the NDIS, is essential to achieve the desired outcome for NDIS participants
A person with a disability applying for NDIS funding will need to supply evidence-based reports from professional therapists (e.g. occupational therapists, psychologists, speech pathologists, and dieticians) with training, skills and expertise.
The purpose of this resource to support therapists in writing NDIS reports in the most effective format so as to ensure participants have the best outcome.
A therapy report for the NDIS needs to contain 4 key elements
explain your therapy approach and
provide evidence of the outcomes achieved and
demonstrate the progress made towards a participant’s goals
provide detailed recommendations
Report writing tips
Explain your therapy approach
Include service details in your report that covers:
- type of service
- therapeutic approach used
- duration of supports
- frequency of support
- intended outcome
- challenges (technological, physical, administrative)use of therapeutic tools is relevant
- justifications to support the recommendations.
Demonstrate progress towards goals
- Does your report include a summary of the supports provided?
- Have you provided evidence of previous therapies trialled?
- Have you measured and provided detail about how a participant’s functional capacity (importance of functional capacity in the NDIS) is progressing towards their therapy outcomes and NDIS goals?
A participant’s goal could be to increase their ability to get up from a bed or a chair and walk independently within their home.
A 25% increase in standing balance and lower limb strength (therapy outcome) will increase the participant’s ability to be independently mobile in their home (NDIS goal).
The observed 30% improvement in mobility, strength and balance (therapy outcome) will support attendance at 50% or more volunteer activities per week (NDIS goal).
Other elements to note are:
- Have you documented any barriers or challenges in the participant’s progress?
- Have you explained why the therapy outcome was not achieved?
- Have you considered or needed to review your therapy approach to help the participant overcome these barriers or challenges?
Define additional supports
- Have you considered what additional informal, community or mainstream supports could assist the participant in pursuing their goal?
- Have you recommended or referred the participant to any informal, community or mainstream supports?
Provide detailed recommendations
Here are some checkpoints:
- Have you provided clear evidence-based recommendations?
- Are your recommended supports linked to the participant’s therapy outcomes and NDIS goals?
- Do the recommended supports represent value for money?
- Are there other comparable low-cost options that would achieve the same outcomes?
- Is there evidence that the supports are likely to substantially improve the life stage outcomes for, and be of long term benefit to the participant
- Will the supports be likely to reduce the cost of funding of supports for the participant in the long term
- Will the support increase the participant’s independence and reduce the participants' needs for other kinds of supports
- Do the supports provided enhance and coordinate well within the participant’s life and the environment?
- Have you stated the risk of no supports being provided?
A best practice guide on producing therapy reports for NDIS plans or plan reviews
MyCareSpace did some investigation and found 2 superb resources that help provide a best practice guide on producing excellent therapy reports to form the development of NDIS plans or plan reviews:
10 steps to excellent NDIS therapy reports - Developed by VALID advocates with expertise in providing advocacy support to people with intellectual disabilities. It is primarily designed as an information source for therapists as they prepare reports for NDIS participants.
- Getting the Language Right - A health practitioners guide to writing reports, letters, forms and assessments for the NDIS. Developed by The Summer Foundation
These resources can also be used by NDIS participants, families, Local Area Coordinators, and Support Coordinators to determine whether a report is of a high standard.
Help for NDIS Participants
Completing an NDIS Access Request with your doctor
One of our MyCareSpace community wrote an informal, hands-on guide to help participants fill in the NDIS application forms and have their health practitioners (doctors, therapists, specialists) write application reports for NDIS in the language the NDIA expects.
It includes what to do prior to meeting your doctor and what he/she will need to write for your NDIS access request.
- Making NDIS Application and Report Writing Easier - A guide to NDIS for individuals, practitioners and families.
It also includes advice for practitioners when writing reports for an NDIS access request or review.