In 2016, Central and Eastern Sydney PHN (CESPHN) conducted an NDIS Impact, Needs and Planning Project to inform our activity plan and support the implementation of the NDIS across our catchment area. One key action that CESPHN has implemented as a result of the project’s findings is the development and delivery of a continuum of NDIS/Disability education sessions for our members. Information about these sessions can be found on the CESPHN CPD Calendar.

CESPHN also facilitates the CESPHN Disability Network, which meets bi-monthly and incorporates a wide variety of stakeholders including individuals with lived experience of disability. For more information on the Network, and other disability related initiatives, please contact the Disability Team, disability@cesphn.com.au.


What is the NDIS?

The National Disability Insurance Scheme (also called the NDIS) is the new way of providing disability support. The NDIS will provide all Australians under the age of 65 who have a permanent and significant disability with the reasonable and necessary supports they need to enjoy an ordinary life.

Mainstream service systems including the Health and Mental Health systems, have significant obligations in relation to working with the NDIS, these are set out in the Council Of Australian Government (COAG) Agreement and NSW Government’s subsequent pdf Operational Guidance for NSW Mainstream Services on the Interface with the National Disability Insurance Scheme (1.53 MB)   version 1 document.

CESPHN is facilitating a continuum of education sessions to assist Allied Health Professionals and GPs to understand these obligations and the impact they will have on their practices and interaction with patients, for more information see the CESPHN CPD Calendar.

What is the NDIS?

Is my patient eligible?

To become an NDIS participant a person must:

  • Have a permanent disability that significantly affects their ability to take part in everyday activities;
  • Be aged less than 65 when they first enter the NDIS;
  • Be an Australian citizen or hold a permanent visa or a Protected Special Category visa; and
  • Live in a part Australia where the NDIS is available

Additional information and resources:

How can patients apply?


If your patient is aged six years or younger, the NDIS utilises an Early Childhood Early Intervention (ECEI) approach. This means you can refer the child directly to an NDIS ECEI Provider in their area, they do NOT require an Access Request Form to be completed. In NSW the new partners delivering ECEI services are found here.

Additional Information and Resources:

Individuals aged between seven and 65 years who wish to join the NDIS will need to contact the NDIA (the Agency responsible for running the Scheme) and request an Access Request Form (ARF). This can be done by:


If your patient is aged over 65, they will not be eligible to apply for the NDIS (see eligibility criteria listed above). If they were already receiving government funded disability supports services prior to the NDIS’ roll-out in their area, they will not be disadvantaged. They will continue to receive supports that achieve similar outcomes to those they currently receive under the Continuity of Supports (CoS) program.

Resources for people aged 65 years and over:

What role do allied health practitioners have in the NDIS?

Allied health practitioners play a number of very important roles in the NDIS.

Access: Allied health practitioners can support their patients to gain access to the NDIS (providing they meet the eligibility requirements) by providing supporting documentation that illustrates the functional impact of that person’s disability. This can be provided by way of a professional report, or by completion of an NDIS Access Request Supplementary Evidence form (your patient can obtain this form from the NDIS and request your assistance to complete it if required).

Plan Development & Review: Allied health practitioners can support the NDIS to develop appropriate funding Plans for participants by providing up to date reports to be considered during the initial Planning, or Plan Review, process. They can also provide recommendations for supports, aids and equipment (along with quotes for these) for the NDIS to consider when allocating funding to the participant’s Plan.

Therapeutic Supports: Allied health practitioners can support NDIS participants who have appropriate funding through the provision of therapeutic supports (e.g. physiotherapy, psychology, occupational therapy etc).

Additional information and resources


Additional supports and services


National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA)

Local Area Coordination (LAC), provided by:
Settlement Services Internatiional (SSI) - Sydney 1800 960 975 or lac@ssi.org.au
Latrobe Community Health Service - South East Sydney 1800 242 696 or south.east.sydneylac@ndis.gov.au 


The Disability Gateway pilot website is now available at www.disabilitygateway.gov.au

People with disability and their families and carers are encouraged to visit the site and provide their feedback to continue to improve the service, prior to the fully operational website. Following the launch of the pilot website, a fully operational Disability Gateway website and supporting 1800-phone service will launch in January 2021. This has been created so that people with disability, their families and carers have direct contact access to assistance and other services.

For online services and support, please visit www.disabilitygateway.gov.au


CESPHN NDIS Transition Lead

CESPHN facilitates the CESPHN Disability Network, conducts ongoing CPD Education in relation to the NDIS and Disability



Education and training for health professionals

NDIS Education and Training for Primary Health Providers

  1. Designed for health professionals, General Practitioners, Allied Health Professionals, Practice Nurses and Practice Managers.

    Primary health providers enjoyed our ten NDIS education sessions so much last year, we decided to run them again as four condensed pre-recorded modules. These are now stored in our video library.

    The modules will improve your understanding of the NDIS and the role of primary health providers when working with people with disability. You will gain a greater understanding of the NDIS, the health and disability interface, and the whole of life aspects of disability.

    The training was codesigned with and delivered by Council for Intellectual Disability.

Module 1: NDIS Basics 

Module 2: The NDIS, health and mental health 

Module 3: All things assistive technology (AT) 

Module 4: NDIS reviews, appeals and complaints, and becoming an NDIS service provider 


  1. Specialist Intellectual Disability Health Teams Workshop Webinars

The Specialist Intellectual Disability Health teams of SLHD and SESLHD, in partnership with Central and Eastern Sydney PHN, have developed a series of four accredited workshops with the aim to increase awareness of how to better care for people with intellectual disability in general and allied health practice.

Recorded sessions now available in our video library:

3.    Education and information for GPs and health professionals developed by the NDIA


For further information about registration please contact disability@cesphn.com.au 



CESPHN NDIS Impact, Needs and Planning Project


The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is undoubtedly one of, if not the most significant advancements in Australia for people with disability, arguably in Australia’s history. The NDIS model is based on six key changes to the way Australia delivers disability support, including a threefold increase in funding and a business model that offers people with disability choice and control over the services they purchase in a market-driven system.

At the same time the Australian primary health system is undergoing a period of significant change. Arguably the most significant recent change to the structure of primary health care in Australia was the establishment of 31 Primary Health Networks across Australia, including the Central and Eastern Sydney PHN (CESPHN). A significant element guiding the work of the PHNs is a focus on holistic, person centred health care, which is very much in alignment with the key design element of the NDIS based on the concept of "user choice and control".

It is in this context that CESPHN commissioned the development of an NDIS Operational Plan. The project explored the demographics and needs of people with disability within the CESPHN catchment, and identified gaps that may be filled by the primary health system. Its key deliverable being an NDIS business plan for the CESPHN.

This significant and important project has the potential to contribute a great deal to the successful implementation of the NDIS. CESPHN engaged the innov8 Consulting Group in collaboration with the Centre for Disability Studies at Sydney University to undertake this project.

Below are links to the report findings from the project:

  1.   pdf Final Report and Business Plan (1.41 MB)
  2.   pdf Scoping Study Report (199 KB)
  3.   pdf Getting NDIS Ready: Literature Review (639 KB)
  4.   pdf Stakeholder Consultations Report (204 KB)



CESPHN NDIS Survey for Health Professionals

The CESPHN EIS Board requested a CESPHN NDIS Survey of GPs Allied Health Professionals and Community about their implementation experience. The objective of the survey was to identify key issues about the implementation and to identify Central and Eastern Sydney PHNs members education needs. Four key implications arising from this report include:

  1. A need for stronger engagement with primary care providers to support the implementation of the NDIS in the CESPHN region
  2. Enhanced communication and collaboration with the National Disability Insurance Agency to support primary health providers
  3. Increased opportunities for further education tailored to the needs of health providers for them to more adequately support people on their NDIS journey
  4. Continuing workforce development efforts to build the skills of the primary health care workforce

CESPHN will continue development and implementation of CESPHNs Disability Education Program to enable health professionals to support people with lived experience access the NDIS.  The program will continue focus on improving health professionals understanding of the ‘whole of life’ aspects of disability and the role of the NDIS and consider the specific needs of priority communities.

CESPHN is currently in discussions with the NDIA on how best to support primary care providers in the CESPHN region, to ensure effective roll out of the scheme.