The Disability Services Commissioner (DSC) routinely reviews disability services provided to a person who was receiving such services at the time of their death. Hearing from families is an important part of our learning. Participating is optional and we will work with you to learn about your experiences.
What is DSC reviewing and why?
The former Minister for Housing, Disability and Ageing requested that DSC inquire into and investigate the provision of disability services to persons who were receiving these services at the time of their death.
This means that both expected and unexpected deaths between 24 July 2017 to 30 June 2019 reported to the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) or the State Coroner are referred to DSC.
The purpose is to identify any issues in the provision of services to the deceased person and to inform improvements across the sector.
Are all types of disability service providers subject to this review process?
Any disability service provider that meets the definition of disability service provider or regulated service provider in the Disability Act 2006 is subject to this review process.
This means that disability services provided by the Secretary to DHHS, persons and bodies registered on the register of disability service providers, contracted service providers, funded service providers and prescribed service providers are within scope.
What is the review process and when are families contacted by DSC?
Reviews are conducted over two phases. Phase one involves reviewing information and documentation received from the service provider about disability services provided to the deceased person.
If DSC identifies potential concerns about service provision during phase one, DSC will move to a more comprehensive phase two investigation.
Families may be contacted and invited to provide their input. Participation is entirely optional. Families can make contact with DSC at any stage if they wish to do so.
What are the triggers for phase two?
A move to a phase two investigation may be required if DSC identifies potential concerns with the service provision afforded to the deceased person.
Am I required to participate?
No. Participation is voluntary and entirely up to you. If you wish to share your experiences with us, we can meet in person or speak by phone, or you can share your thoughts by writing to us.
If you decide to meet with us, you are welcome to bring a support person along.
Will any personal information be publicly disclosed?
No. Your privacy will be respected.
DSC’s Annual Report will include an annual review of practice and the systemic issues surrounding disability service provision, but we will not include any information that can identify you or your loved ones. Illustrative case studies may be used to highlight practice issues. Case studies will be based on a composite of facts and themes arising from our investigations.
What will be the outcomes of the investigation process?
Where necessary, we may require service providers to take action as a result of these investigations. DSC will provide a report to the Minister and the Secretary to DHHS after every investigation. These reports will not be publicly available.
At the end of every financial year, we will also provide a comprehensive annual review of the themes identified from our reviews of disability service provision to people who have died. This report will be published in our Annual Report and be made publicly available.
Will I receive the final investigation report?
Whilst the Disability Act 2006 does not permit us to send you the final report, it is possible for you to request access to the report through a Freedom of Information (FOI) application.
For more information, please visit www.odsc.vic.gov.au/about-us/freedom-of-information-and-protected-disclosures/
Phone (preferred): 1800 677 342 (free call from landlines) or TTY 1300 726 563
Fax: 03 8608 5765
National Relay Service: www.relayservice.gov.au then 1800 677 342