12 August 2020
NDIS COMMISSION BANS INTEGRITY CARE (SA) LTD
The NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission (NDIS Commission) has revoked the registration and issued a banning order against the care provider of Ms Ann-Marie Smith for a number of contraventions of the National Disability Insurance Scheme Act 2013 (NDIS Act).
Integrity Care (SA) Ltd (Integrity Care) was providing disability supports and services to Ms Ann-Marie Smith, who died in appalling circumstances in South Australia in April this year.
The NDIS Commission has been conducting an active investigation into Integrity Care since being notified of Ms Smith’s death. That investigation is ongoing, and as more information becomes available the NDIS Commission will take decisions about any further regulatory actions.
Mr Graeme Head, NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commissioner, said, “Integrity Care was advised in early June 2020 of the intention to revoke the organisation’s registration and to ban it from operating, and was given an opportunity to respond. There are very clear requirements under the NDIS Act as to how the NDIS Commission takes compliance actions, so that decisions are made with due process. This includes giving ample opportunity for the party subject to these actions to respond.”
Our first priority has been the safety of the other NDIS participants supported by Integrity Care during our investigation. We issued a compliance notice requiring Integrity Care to engage an independent, suitably qualified health professional to undertake a physical welfare check on the NDIS participants they support. The NDIS Commission has also worked with the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) to make contact with all NDIS participants receiving support from Integrity Care, to check on their wellbeing.
Revoking the registration of a provider means that the provider can no longer provide NDIS-funded supports and services to NDIS participants as a registered NDIS provider. The banning order in this matter bans the provider from providing all NDIS-funded supports and services to any person in the NDIS.
The revocation takes effect on 14 August 2020, while the banning order will come into effect on 21 August 2020. This will allow the NDIS Commission to work with the NDIA, to support NDIS participants who have chosen to receive supports and services from Integrity Care to exercise their choice in determining and securing suitable alternative arrangements.
Every NDIS provider and worker is required to comply with the NDIS Code of Conduct, which includes the obligation to provide supports and services in a safe and competent manner, with care and skill. The NDIS Commission has broad powers to take compliance and enforcement action when NDIS providers are found not to have met their obligations under the NDIS Act.
On 15 May 2020 the NDIS Commission issued a compliance notice to Integrity Care requiring them take certain actions and report to the NDIS Commission on those actions to continue to protect the safety of the NDIS participants which it supports.
The NDIS Commission previously took other regulatory action in respect of Integrity Care (unrelated to the revocation and banning orders), including issuing an infringement notice of $12,600 on 21 May 2020 for Integrity Care’s failure to notify the NDIS Commission of the death of Ms Smith within 24 hours of it becoming aware of her death.
As a result of thorough actions to date and information available through the NDIS Commission’s investigation, on 2 June 2020, a delegate of the NDIS Commissioner informed Integrity Care of the intention to revoke its registration and ban it from providing further supports and services to NDIS participants.
Media Contact: Orietta Melfi 0436 649 635