The Gatter Review
The Gatter Review of the Territory Independence and Mobility Equipment Scheme (TIMES) and Seating Equipment Assessment and Technical (SEAT) Service identified 12 key recommendations to form the basis for scheme changes to transition TIMES into a contemporary new service model, consistent with good practice in equipment programs elsewhere and in line with the principles of the National Disability Services Standards. The Review included client and stakeholder input, reform trends in other jurisdictions and a literature review component.
A recommendation of the Review was for TIMES to change its name and better align its processes towards the intended target population: people with a disability. The new name for TIMES is the Disability Equipment Program (DEP).
A Project Team was created after the Review and the implementation of new policies, procedures and guidelines is currently being planned. Existing equipment services and support mechanisms will continue throughout the transition period.
Disability Equipment Program (DEP)
The Disability Equipment Program (DEP), previously known as the Territory Independence and Mobility Equipment Scheme (TIMES), aims to provide prescribed equipment, aids and appliances to assist eligible residents of the Northern Territory with a permanent or long term disability, to enhance their safety and independence, and to assist them to live and participate in their community.
The objectives of the DEP are to ensure that consumers receive a service that:
- Provides access to appropriate equipment and appliances to meet their assessed needs;
- Provides access to equipment that assists in maintaining and improving their capacity to remain in the community and to participate in family and community activities;
- Enhances continuity of care;
- Is efficiently administered, with effective management of existing resources;
- Has a consistent and equitable prioritisation process, targeted to people most in need; and
- Is flexible and able to respond to their individual needs.
To be eligible for the DEP, applicants must meet all of the following criteria:
- Have a disability of a permanent or long term duration as defined under the Disability Services Act (1993);
- Are a resident of the Northern Territory;
- Are living in or are returning to the community;
- Require items of approved DEP equipment on a permanent or long term basis;
- Are not eligible to receive compensation in respect of the disability for which the equipment has been prescribed; and
- Are not eligible to receive the equipment under any other Program/Fund;
- Are a beneficiary of a Centrelink Aged Pension, Centrelink Disability Support Pension, or person under 16 years for whom a family member is in receipt of a Centrelink Carer Allowance or Centrelink Carer Payment; or are a child in the care of the Minister; or have been approved as eligible on the basis of Financial Hardship; and
- Are not a High Care resident of a Residential Aged Care Facility.
Limitations of the DEP
The DEP does not provide assistance for:
- Items under $100.00 (with the exception of continence equipment or feeding tubes required on a recurrent basis) and some repairs and maintenance;
- Aids or equipment that are to be used specifically in an educational or work setting, or for recreational purposes only;
- Aids or equipment, which are standard household or personal items, (eg tables, beds, car seats) and are generally regarded as a community norm for the person or family to purchase. It is recognised that what constitutes a standard household item in a remote Aboriginal Community may differ from urban settings and as such some flexibility may be applied to specific items;
- Reimbursement for the purchase or repair of equipment on a retrospective basis;
- Items associated with medical or surgical interventions, including life support units (ventilators), voice prosthesis, lymphedema garments, burn garments and initial mammary prosthesis; and
- Home modifications and provision of fixtures for installation in Public Housing.
Equipment provided under the DEP is categorised as follows:
- Communication aids and devices
- Continence equipment
- Daily Living aids and equipment
- Bed equipment (specialised)
- Home modifications
- Personal call alarms
- Pressure care
- Specialised items
- Walking aids
- Vehicle Transfer Aids
Each item has specific criteria and prioritisation guidelines, funding levels and prescriber information.
Whilst a person may be eligible for assistance from the DEP, this does not guarantee that a particular aid or item of equipment will be provided. Provision of equipment is dependant on the priority of the application and the availability of funds.
Oxygen Service Provision
As of September 2013, Oxygen and respiratory appliances in the Top End are provided through Royal Darwin Hospital (RDH). Oxygen and respiratory appliances in Central Australia are provided through the Disability Equipment Program.
Top End Contact: RDH, Community Respiratory Nurse,
Opening Hours 8.00 am to 4.21pm,
Phone: (08) 8985 8158
E-mail: RespNurses.DOH@nt.gov.au or via our online form: [click here to send email]
In the case of an equipment problem outside of RDH office hours contact Air Liquide,Customer Service After Hours/ On Call (Local NT): 0427556309 or Office Hours: (08) 89471184.
Feeding Equipment and Appliances Service Provision
As of July 2013 (Top End) and October 2013 (Central), Territory wide all Home Enternal Nutritional (HEN) Equipment is provided through the Royal Darwin Hospital (RDH) and Alice Springs Hospital (ASH).
Contact Top End:
Royal Darwin Hospital, HEN coordinator at Dietetics Department
Phone: (08) 8922 7920
See RDH contacts, and local dietician, Phone: (08) 8973 8946.
For collection of your HEN equipment contact Katherine Hospital Stores, Phone (08) 8973 9012.
Alice Springs Hospital, Nutrition and Dietetics Department
Phone: (08) 8951 7789
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or via our online form [click here to send email]
Email: DEPDarwin.email@example.com or via our online form: [click here to send email]
Phone: (08) 8922 7244
Repairs and Maintenance: (08) 8922 5571
Fax: (08) 8928 0164
East Arnhem (Gove Office)
Phone: (08) 8987 0432
Fax: (08) 8997 0411
Phone: (08) 8944 8641
Fax: (08) 8944 8651
Phone: (08) 8973 8778
Fax: (08) 8973 8983
Email: DEPAliceSprings.firstname.lastname@example.org or via our online form [click here to send email]
Phone (includes Repairs and Maintenance): (08) 8951 6747
Fax: (08) 8951 6789
Please note this information was last updated April 2014.