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16th August 2017
Laurie Harkin AM, the Disability Services Commissioner, and Victorian State Coroner Judge Sara Hinchey, have today signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), with a commitment to working collaboratively in reviewing, inquiring into and investigating the deaths of Victorians with a disability who were receiving disability services at the time of their death.
This is the result of the Parliamentary Inquiry into abuse in disability services which highlighted a need to identify a clear picture of the causes of and contributors to deaths in disability services to better manage risks and improve medical and emergency management for people with a disability.
Mr Harkin says, “Stories shared during the Inquiry illustrated a number of tragic deaths of people with a disability in disability services that ought never have happened. Our new function of reviewing unusual or unexpected deaths that happen in disability services is designed to highlight opportunities for addressing systemic issues in disability services that can lead to these deaths.”
“Working collaboratively with the State Coroner will help us to provide recommendations and advice about practice and systems for improved health, wellbeing and outcomes for people with a disability.”
‘This new collaborative agreement enables the Coroners Court of Victoria to not only provide detailed reporting and analysis of deaths of people living with a disability, but also significantly contribute to informing key social policy decisions aimed at reducing these preventable deaths’, says Judge Sara Hinchey.
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