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Minister ignores concerns over disability services

Paul Hutchison National Party Disability Issues Spokesman

15 March 2005

Minister ignores concerns over disability services

The Disability Issues Minister must not remain silent over allegations surrounding disability services provider Focus 2000, which include deaths, maltreatment, understaffing and poor-quality care, says National's Disability Issues spokesman, Paul Hutchison.

Today in Parliament, Dr Hutchison produced two letters of warning written to the Minister, Ruth Dyson, which she has failed to respond to, or even remember.

On 8 July 2003, the Standard and Monitoring Services Trust notified the Minister that their board unanimously decided that the Ministry of Health-designated auditing agency approach 'is completely incompatible to enhancing the quality of the lives of individuals who use services'.

On 1 November 2004, the trust wrote again to Ms Dyson, saying she 'should be aware of the huge levels of dissatisfaction in community residential services'.

"The Minister must say explicitly what she proposes to do when people like Lorna Sullivan from the Disabled Persons Assembly have said 'we see day after day providers that have got their compliance audit hung on the wall, where people are neglected, where people's lives are being wasted, people are degraded.... just systemic abandonment'.

"Ms Dyson is failing in her duty as an 'advocate for the disabled' with her continued inaction over the allegations," says Dr Hutchison.

ENDS

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