Continence products include a wide range of reusable and disposable items, such as pants, pads, and catheters. For NDIS participants, continence products sit under the banner of Assistive Technology and are funded out of the Core – Consumables budget.
A Continence Provider List was published on the NDIS website on 4 November 2021 following disability community feedback. The list is an additional resource to help with finding and comparing continence products, making it easier for participants to find trusted continence suppliers offering market leading pricing and service. Recognising that not all participants will want or need to use a list, participants can continue to purchase their continence products from a listed provider, or another provider of their choosing.
You can find the List here: Continence Provider List
In operation for nearly two years, in 2023 we undertook a review and evaluation of the Continence Provider List where we consulted with providers and participants. A participant survey was undertaken in July 2023 which had responses from 80 participants and carers, and we spoke directly with several participants to discuss their experience and feedback in more detail.
What you told us
You said the key areas that are important for choosing a provider of continence supports included:
- Customer service, especially delivery performance
- Product availability and range
- Competitive pricing
- Online ordering
- Access to professional continence advice
- Ability to buy in bulk or small amounts
Other factors that impacted your purchase experiences were:
- Maintaining choice of provider. For many participants, visiting the chemist and supermarket was valued by many as a social activity.
- You like to support local providers as much as possible
- Bulk purchasing is not always possible in some areas and when there is limited storage space in the home
Awareness of the Continence Provider List varied:
- Most survey participants who responded to the survey were aware of the Continence Provider List from Participant First Newsletters and the NDIS Website
- Some participants had not heard of the Continence Provider List before the survey
What we learned
You told us that for the Continence Provider List to be of more assistance, the NDIA:
A. Should ensure there’s a continued focus on provider flexibility
- You want access to a good range of products, support and advice to make informed decisions about the products that are best suited to your personal needs
- You want to be able to easily compare the products and pricing of providers on the list
- Delivery costs are important, and you would like to see providers located in all states and territories represented on the list as much as possible
B. Create greater awareness of the Continence Provider List
- The list represents an additional information resource, but you told us that it can be hard to find on the NDIS website. You suggested that we can raise the profile of the list including through the Participant First Newsletter.
- Provide information at Disability Expos
- Promote the list more effectively with participants, allied health staff, planners and carers
C. Monitor the performance of providers on the list
- Although providers on the list had to meet service standard criteria, you told us there is room for further improvement and that providers need to continue to apply good commercial standards to remain on the list.
- Providers with poor performance against agreed standards need to be managed, and this process needs to be more transparent.
- Participant feedback, social media and online reviews should be monitored and appropriate action taken.
The NDIA will progress a range of actions so that the Continence Provider List better delivers the outcomes that participants need.