NDIS Commission received more than 1000 reports of abuse and neglect over three months

By Shannon Jenkins

Tuesday February 4, 2020

Adobe Stock

The agency tasked with overseeing providers of the National Disability Insurance Scheme received 8595 incident reports regarding people with a disability over three months last year.

The reports were made between July 1 and September 30 2019 from across all jurisdictions except Western Australia, figures released by the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission to the Senate have revealed.

Of these, there were 6694 reports of unauthorised restrictive practices, such as seclusion, chemical restraint, mechanical restraint, physical restraint and environmental restraint.

There were also 1236 reports of alleged abuse and neglect, 437 reports of known serious injury (including accidents), and 228 reports of deaths.

During that period, 531 matters were referred to police.

A commission spokesperson told The Mandarin that not all incidents reported to police were criminal in nature, and the commission has been working with registered NDIS providers to help them understand when incidents need to be reported to police.

The spokesperson noted that reportable incidents could have included expected deaths, with multiple reports on the same person.

“In some cases, further information reveals that the death of the person with disability did not occur in connection with the provision of NDIS supports and services,” they said.

They said an activity report for July 1 to December 31 2019 would be published on the commission website once the collation and verification of data has been finalised.

A 2019 report from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare found that 47% of Australians with disability experienced violence — including sexual, physical, and intimate partner violence — after the age of 15, compared with compared with 36% without disability. Of adults with disability, the most likely to have experienced violence after the age of 15 have psychological disability (65%), intellectual disability (62%), head injury, stroke or brain damage (60%).

The Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability resumes this month. The process has been accused of being rushed by disability advocates, while concerns have been raised over the potential conflicts of interest regarding two of the commissioners.

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