If properly resourced and planned, the package which aims to reduce bed block by transitioning hospital patients living with a disability into home or home-like residences while they wait for permanent accommodation supported by an NDIS plan, can help reduce the systemic pressures faced by Victoria’s healthcare system.
By reducing unnecessary long stays in inpatient wards, the College is hopeful the program can assist in easing emergency department overcrowding, ambulance ramping, long waits for care and associated adverse outcomes for patients. This in turn can contribute to safer emergency departments (EDs) for patients, families, carers and healthcare workers.
While delivery of the NDIS is primarily a federal responsibility, ACEM emphasises it is important for all levels of government to work collaboratively to address the significant pressures being faced by Victoria’s healthcare system.
ACEM Victoria Faculty Chair Dr Belinda Hibble said: “Delays in access to appropriate community-based accommodation supported under NDIS plans remain a significant factor in many people with disability becoming stranded in hospital for an unacceptably long time.
“This initiative has potential to help reduce bed block, improve patient flow, contribute to safer EDs and improve circumstances for people with disability awaiting suitable community accommodation.
“All parties contesting the upcoming Victorian election should continue considering and committing to measures that will reduce access block, and work collaboratively with health stakeholders on solutions for the state’s healthcare crisis.
“Ultimately, a safer healthcare system means safer emergency departments, which means safer patients, safer healthcare workers, and a safer future – for everyone.”
ACEM has recently released five measures, that if implemented, could assist in reducing dangerous systemic issues that continue to lead to ambulance ramping, adverse patient outcomes, staff burnout, overly long waits for care and reduced safety for all patients, carers and staff.

ACEM is the peak body for emergency medicine in Australia and New Zealand, responsible for training emergency physicians and advancement of professional standards. www.acem.org.au