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NDIS launches court action against Integrity Care

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The NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission has launched Federal Court action against Integrity Care, the disability service provider responsible for employing Ann-Marie Smith’s now jailed carer.

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The NDIS Commission is seeking a financial penalty from Integrity Care and has commenced civil penalty proceedings in the Federal Court.

The Commission’s statement of claim alleges numerous failures of Integrity Care to provide adequate care and support to an NDIS participant.

Integrity Care was the employer of Rosa Maria Maione – the sole carer responsible for Smith in the lead up to her death in April 2020.

Smith passed away in hospital after being found in her home suffering septic shock, multiple organ failure, severe pressure sores and malnourishment.

The 54-year-old had been found to be living in squalid conditions in her own home, largely confined to a cane chair, while under the care of the National Disability Insurance Scheme.

Maione, 69, pleaded guilty to Smith’s manslaughter and was earlier this month sentenced to six years and seven months in prison.

NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commissioner Tracy Mackey said Smith’s death is “tragic and continues to shock and sadden many people across Australia”.

“NDIS providers have very clear obligations and we will take action when providers do not meet those obligations,” she said in a statement.

The latest statement of claim represents the second Federal Court proceeding initiated by the NDIS against Integrity Care.

After its initial investigation of the case, the NDIS Commission revoked Integrity Care’s registration and issued a banning order against it.

The Commission also fined Integrity Care $12,600 for failing to notify the NDIS about the death of Smith, despite a requirement to do so within 24 hours.

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