NDIS Transition Lead
Jenny Denford - 8752 4953 | j.denford@cesphn.com.au

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 distributes a regular Disability Newsletter and 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 these, and other disability related initiatives, please contact the NDIS Transition Lead, Jenny Denford.


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 Operational Guidance for NSW Mainstream Services on the Interface with the National Disability Insurance Scheme  version 1 document.

CESPHN is facilitating a continuum of education sessions to assist GPs and Allied Health Professionals 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.

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 6 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:

If your patient is aged between 7 and 65 years and wishes to join the NDIS, they will need to contact the National Disability Insurance Agency (the NDIS is responsible for running the Scheme) and request an Access Request Form. This can be done by:

  • Phoning the NDIA on 1800 800 110
  • Completing an online Contact Form
  • Visiting an NDIA Office (NSW list here)

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.

Additional Information and Resources:

What is the GPs role in the NDIS?

Patients seeking join the NDIS will need to complete an Access Request Form (ARF).

GPs play an important role in supporting their patients to complete the ARF, particularly Section F which captures information relating to the impact of the individual’s disability on the functional domains of:

  1. Mobility
  2. Communication
  3. Social interaction
  4. Learning
  5. Self-care
  6. Self-management

The GP may also help complete other appropriate sections.

In addition to completing the ARF, an applicant may also supply the NDIS with additional documentation to further support their application, such as:

Some patients may have a specific condition or may be part of a program that automatically qualifies them for entry into the NDIS, or that requires no further evidence of disability.

More information on providing evidence of disability, and a list of these conditions can be found here.

GPs may also be asked to provide updated information about the functional impact of the participant’s disability on their day to day life for consideration during a Plan Review. This information will help the NDIA develop the participant’s updated Plan and address any changes the supports they require.

Additional Information and Resources:


Sydney HealthPathways

  • NDIS Pathway (select Our Health System > National Disability Insurance Scheme from menu on right-hand side of Health Pathways homepage) – for GPs

South East Sydney HealthPathways

  • Coming Soon
Additional Supports and Services


National Disability Insurance Agency NDIA

Local Area Coordination (LAC), provided by St. Vincent de Paul Society in the CESPHN region: 

Ability Links (0-64) & Early Linkers (0-8), provided by Settlement Services International and St Vincent de Paul Society

  • Phone: SVDP (02) 8622 0456
  • Phone: SSI (02) 9685 0293

CESPHN NDIS & Disability Program Officer

CESPHN facilitates the CESPHN Disability Network, conducts ongoing CPD Education in relation to the NDIS and distributes a regular Disability Newsletter.

NDIS Transition Lead – Jenny Denford
Email: j.denford@cesphn.com.au
Phone: (02) 8752 4953
Phone: (02) 9330 9913


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)



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