Our responsibility to you

We have a responsibility to provide services to participants in a safe manner, and take steps to prevent harm abuse and neglect. We understand that certain incidents can impact the health, safety or wellbeing of people with disability.

We strive to minimise the risk of incidents (including near misses), but if they do occur, we have an incident management system to record, investigate and manage incidents in connection with providing our services to you.

If you decide to use our services, your service agreement with CoAbility will inform you that we have an incident management process in place.

We have developed our incident management system based on guidelines produced by the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission and the National Disability Insurance Scheme (Incident and Reportable Incidents) Rules 2018.

Easy Read - Keeping Safe

What is an incident?

Under the National Disability Insurance Scheme (Incident and Reportable Incidents) Rules 2018, incidents are defined as follows:

Incidents that have, or could have caused harm to a person with a disability receiving supports or services
Example

A support worker is assisting a person with disability in the preparation of meals in the participant’s home. The support worker spills boiling water on the participant and causes first degree burns.

Acts by a person with a disability that happen in connection with the provision of supports or services
Example

A person with a disability is supported by a support worker to access the community. Whilst in the community, the participant is physically and emotionally violent towards a member of the general public.

Reportable incidents that have, or alleged to have occurred in connection with providing support or services to a person with a disability.
A serious incident (including allegations) is considered a reportable incident and must be reported to the NDIS Commission.

A reportable incident covers:

  • the death of participant
  • serious injury of a participant;
  • abuse or neglect of a participant;
  • unlawful sexual or physical contact with, or assault of, a participant;
  • sexual misconduct committed against, or in the presence of, a participant, including grooming of the participant for sexual activity; and
  • the unauthorised use of a restrictive practice in relation to a participant.

What are the key steps for incident management?

The key steps for incident management include:

Anyone can identify and report an incident, for example one of our staff members or a participant/nominee or a family member. An incident should be reported as soon as practicable so we can take action in response to whether the incident is serious (reportable) or non-critical.

Based on the information you provide about the incident; we will complete an internal incident form and record the details in our incident management system.

The relevant supervisor/team leader, or the Quality and Risk Manager in the absence of the supervisor/team leader will be notified of the incident. Details of our key staff for incident management include can be found by contacting CoAbility on (03) 9754 8706.

We may need to protect your health and safety and the health and safety of others, and take emergency action if necessary. We will also be respectful and sensitive to the way in which you may respond to the experience of the incident and provide any appropriate support and assistance throughout the process.

You may want to get some support at any stage of the incident management process. This could be support from staff, family, a friend or an advocacy service. An advocate can work on your behalf, or work with you in a way that represents your needs. Some suggestions for advocacy agencies can be found using the Disability Advocacy Finder.

We will also ask you to provide feedback and input into assessments, investigations and any proposed recommendations or actions taken to resolve the incident.

We will assess all incidents to determine:

  • why the incident occurred;
  • whether the incident could have been prevented;
  • how well the incident was managed and resolved;
  • future prevention measures; and
  • who else needs to be notified of the incident.

We will also look at the effect of the incident on the person with the disability and any operational issues that may have contributed to the incident occurring.

All reportable incidents, except for the unauthorised use of a restrictive practice, must be notified to the NDIS commission by the Quality and Risk Manager within 24 hours of us becoming aware of the incident. Any unauthorised use of restrictive practices must be notified within 5 days but reported within 24 hours if there is harm to the participant.

We may also notify the police or relevant authorities to report suspected crimes or notify guardians, family or carers where appropriate.

For reportable incidents, the NDIS Commission will determine whether any action is required.

At times, we may need to obtain further information about the incident and undertake an internal investigation in such cases where the cause of the incident is unknown or the nature and the impact of the incident is significant. An investigation may take up to 5 business days followed up with a detailed report. Complex investigations may take longer, for example, we may be required to involve other external organisations or interview relevant people.

Privacy

We have a responsibility to provide services to participants in a safe manner, and take steps to prevent harm abuse and neglect. We understand that certain incidents can impact the health, safety or wellbeing of people with disability.

We value the privacy of every individual’s personal information.  We will comply with the Privacy procedure with regards to the management of that information.

We will only collect and use personal data, including sensitive information that is necessary to fulfil the functions and activities of CoAbility as determined by the nature of your interaction with us and where we have a lawful basis to do so.

We are committed to the protection and proper handling of personal and health information in accordance with the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth).