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Strengthened oversight via new Ministerial referral

21st September 2017

Update November 2017: DSC has commenced routine inquiries and investigations into disability service provision for persons receiving disability services at the time of their death. These routine investigations occur for both expected and unexpected deaths. Further information including information sheets and FAQs will be made available shortly. 

Strengthened oversight of incident reports, deaths and matters of abuse and neglect

The Disability Services Commissioner (the Commissioner) has today received a new referral from the Minister for Housing, Disability and Ageing, Martin Foley MP, which replaces all previous referrals.

In accordance with section 16(c)and 128I(2) of the Disability Act 2006 (the Act), the Minister has requested that the Commissioner inquire into and, at the Commissioner’s discretion, investigate any matter relating to the provision of services (including abuse or neglect in the provision of services) by disability service providers identified in the following:

  • Incident reports received from the Department of Health and Human Services (the department), including all deaths (where the deceased was a person with a disability receiving services at the time of their death), and Category One or major impact incidents relating to assault, injury and poor quality of care.
  • Deaths referred by the State Coroner where the deceased was a person with a disability receiving services at the time of the person’s death.
  • Matters of abuse and neglect referred by the Community Visitors Board.

The purpose of these inquiries and investigations is to improve the services that are investigated, or to understand issues in the services being investigated in order to develop service improvements in response to those issues.

When conducting an investigation under this referral, in accordance with section 1281(4) of the Act, the Commissioner may consider any action the service provider should take to improve services and provide a Notice to Take Action.

The Commissioner has also been requested to include in his annual report:

  • a comprehensive annual review of deaths that occur in services
  • the number, type and outcomes of investigations conducted under this referral including follow-up investigations
  • an overview of any practice or systemic issues identified.

This report will not identify any individuals or entities involved, unless they have failed to comply with a Notice to Take Action.

This referral is to take effect from 12 September 2017 until 30 June 2019. 

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Melbourne, Victoria, 3000 Australia

Call for enquiries or complaints - 1800 677 342

Email for enquiries or complaints - complaints@odsc.vic.gov.au