NDS statement: Investigation into death of NDIS participant

National Disability Services (NDS) is saddened and appalled by reports of the treatment suffered by Ann-Marie Smith, leading to her death last month.

The circumstances surrounding Ms Smith’s death, presently the subject of criminal investigation, underscore the importance of a strong and robust national regulatory framework underpinned by legislation to protect all NDIS participants.

NDS, as Australia’s peak body for non-government disability service providers, has been an active supporter of the development of the NDIS Quality and Safeguard Framework, and is pleased the NDIS Quality and Safeguarding Commission will become a truly national regulator once Western Australia has fully transitioned into the NDIS.

In addition to the NDIS Code of Conduct, all NDS members are subject to NDS’s Code of Conduct, non-compliance with which can lead to the suspension or expulsion of a member. Integrity Care is not an NDS member.

NDS will not speculate about process or procedural failures that the official investigation into Ms Smith’s death may find.

NDS will continue to assist organisations to operate under the NDIS and fulfil their commitment to providing high quality service and support. Resources including Zero Tolerance guidance are freely available to all disability service providers.

People with disability must be able to live their lives free from the fear of violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation, while accessing quality disability services and supports.

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