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PDH Partners With Manawanui & Nicholson Consulting To Better Understand Users Of Disability Services

Precision Driven Health (PDH) has announced a new research partnership with Manawanui and Nicholson Consulting to learn more about New Zealanders who receive funded disability services in order to inform the development of services that better meet their needs.

The interim report of the Health and Disability System Review identifies that disability at a system level is ‘largely invisible’, with little data collected – and very little analysed – to show how services are accessed or used by disabled people, and with what outcomes.

The aim of the research is to better understand the Aotearoa New Zealand population receiving Ministry of Health-funded disability services. This is to inform the access and further development of services provided by Manawanui, who are the pioneer and leading facilitator of self-directed funding in New Zealand.

The research will combine client data from Manawanui with a range of government datasets, including NZ Census data from Statistics NZ, data from the Household Disability Survey, needs assessment data from the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Social Development job seekers support for sickness and disability, and ACC accident claims data.

CEO of Precision Driven Health, Dr Kevin Ross, says this project represents an ideal collaboration. “Manawanui focus on empowering people to manage their needs and are using data to make that happen. Nicholson Consulting bring a wealth of experience in applying data science to service design, so this partnership with Precision Driven Health promises to improve outcomes for a group that are often neglected in major health data initiatives”.

Marsha Marshall, CEO of Manawanui, says that building an improved understanding of their customers, who they are and how they interact with the disability system, will support Manawanui’s strategy to be more targeted to their customers’ needs by using an evidence-based approach. Disabled persons are involved in all aspects of the research project, which presents the opportunity for the project to be a disability-led initiative. Having people with lived experience leading the research design ensures that the outcome will be of benefit to disabled persons.

“We seek to understand not only who our customers are and their characteristics, but also how our customers travel through the maze that is the health and disability system,” says Ms Marshall. “We know that having a better understanding of the people we support will enable us to improve our services to them, support them more effectively to be independent and self-directed and, consequently, improve life outcomes and the quality of their lives.”

CEO of Nicholson Consulting, Kylie Reiri, says this project is a great example of using data to inform better lives.

“In undertaking this project we are fortunate to be well supported by our community, clients and their whānau, to support the direction and interpretation of analysis. We look forward to sharing results of this work more widely as we progress,” says Ms Reiri.

"Self-direction is something we believe is a right that should be afforded to every person, including self-direction of care and service use when people need it. Using data to ensure self-directed disability services are available to all people in Aotearoa who receive funded disability services is something we’re excited to support.

“Working with large, integrated government datasets requires us to be conscious of the imperfect social system in which the data was collected. This data is often biased, especially towards minority groups. The skills required to perform this analysis are a combination of technical, ethical, and social disciplines, and lived experience of living with a disability in Aotearoa. As a team we are proud to bring this unique skillset to this project.”

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