In 2021 The Standards and Monitoring Service (SAMS) did two studies. Both were completed prior to Disability Support Services move from the Ministry of Health and have now been published by Whaikaha:
Mid Central Repeat Study - a survey of people who use disability support services, including Mana Whaikaha services in the Mid Central region.
The purpose of the Repeat Study in the MidCentral region, was to understand if the outcomes and experiences of disabled people and their whānau had changed since a Baseline Study conducted in 2018.
Mana Whaikaha began in 2018 and is a prototype for a transformed disability support system. It was co-designed from learnings from the Christchurch, and to an extent from the Waikato, Enabling Good Lives (EGL) demonstration sites.
A key part of the Repeat Study was understanding the impact of Mana Whaikaha. The 2021 survey findings show that both disabled people and whānau / family felt things have improved since the 2018 survey.
Disabled people felt they had more choice of the kind of support they got, that they are more connected / part of their community, and that they had more support to achieve their plan for a good life. People with Kaitūhono / Connectors felt they were able to make more choices about where their support money was used.
However, over half of the people who used Residential Support Services were not happy with the support they got and many disabled people supported by Home and Community Support Services were were unhappy with some their support staff.
Whānau / family felt they had more choice over how their support money was spent, more choice over the supports they got, and they could connect better with their community.
Overall, the results were similar for Māori and non-Māori survey respondents. However, there was less improvement for Māori around choice about how their personal budget was spent. Māori were also slightly less likely to think their supports were as flexible as they could be.
The Repeat Study identifies several areas for improvement and makes recommendations including:
more support for Kaitūhono / Connectors, clearer information for disabled people / whānau, and more information and training about EGL for people who work in disability support services.
- Key messages - MidCentral Repeat Survey [Word Doc]
- Full Summary Report - MidCentral Repeat Survey 2021 [Word Doc]
Flexible Disability Support Study - a small study looking at the situation of 12 disabled people and their whānau who use an Flexible Disability Support (FDS) contract.
FDS is currently available to people accessing Enabling Good Lives (EGL) in Christchurch and Mid-Central. FDS contracts enable disabled people, tāngata whaikaha Māori (disabled Māori) and whānau to use their personal budget in a contracted partnership with a chosen provider.
Nearly all study participants were positive about having more say and control in their lives.
Positive findings of the study included: an increase in self-determination and autonomy for disabled people, people feeling they had more control in what they wanted to do in life and describing their lives as more fulfilled, ordinary life outcomes being experienced by people, such as living arrangements, participation in exercise or education courses. The lives of some whānau were positively changing for their family member and themselves.
Areas identified for improvement included: a need for easy-to-understand information about how FDS works, and EGL budget processes, such as clarity around purchasing guidelines. There needs to be accessible ways for people receiving supports to give feedback regularly, so they can say what is and isn’t working well for them
Whaikaha – Ministry of Disabled People will use the study to look at ways of making Flexible Disability Support better.