Bupa Therapy opens in Melbourne

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Bupa has opened a new Melbourne-based facility to meet growing demand for disability services.

Bupa Therapy is available to anyone over 18. It is not limited to its own members or participants in the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).

The purpose-built centre delivers a range of services, including speech pathology, occupational therapy and physiotherapy for adults with neurophysiological conditions. It includes a rehabilitation gym for individual and group therapy as well as individual treatment rooms. It also has services especially for carers and other family members, including wi-fi, internet terminals, lounges, desk space and kitchen facilities with refreshments.

Bupa Therapy operations manager Angela Aldous said the NDIS presented an opportunity for the company to try new solutions to meet the needs of people living with disability and their carers.

The NDIS is expected to support around 460,000 Australians, including more than 105,000 Victorians, by the time it’s fully implemented in 2020. Around 220,000 Australians are already supported by the NDIS.

“We used this human-centred design process because we didn’t want to assume we already knew the answers. We collected literally thousands of data points and consulted widely with those with disability, their carers and clinicians," said Ms Aldous.

“While this service is open to everyone, the creation of the NDIS is making us think of different and innovative ways to improve therapy access to people who arguably need it the most.”

Kristy Trajcevski, a law graduate living with cerebral palsy, took part in Bupa’s design process.

“Going to lots of different places is often very intimidating,” she said. “It would be nice to have the same group of people doing the same stuff, who know you and can help you reach your goals.

“That, I think, is what the core of the NDIS is all about. It’s about finding ways to be inclusive and bring disability out of the closet.”