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Focus 2000 needs closer scrutiny

Dr Paul Hutchison MP
National Party Disability Issues Spokesman

11 June 2006

Focus 2000 needs closer scrutiny

Pete Hodgson must look closer at both the service provision and financial arrangements of disability provider Focus 2000, as serious questions about its practices remain unanswered, says National’s Disability Issues spokesman, Dr Paul Hutchison.

Dr Hutchison says there have been allegations of significant service failure by the provider, and its finances remain murky despite the recent release of two audit reports.

“Given that the original complaints were about abuse, neglect, deaths and receiving millions of dollars for services not provided, the public deserves reassurance that the audits are rigorous and far reaching,” says Dr Hutchison.

“Instead, what we’ve seen so far appears sanitised and narrow.

“Closer scrutiny of the reports released so far reveals major problems involving service users being shut out of complaints mechanisms.

“Of the 75 aspects of services audited, 40 were only partially attained and four completely unattained. Isn’t this service failure?

“The disability services sector is remains concerned that the Ministry of Health’s audits do not adequately cover individual quality of life.”

Dr Hutchison says allegations have been raised about members of the Cerebral Palsy Society, the parent organisation of Focus 2000, not being given key financial information.

“Pete Hodgson has admitted in reply to parliamentary questions that ‘Focus 2000’s annual reports were incorrectly submitted’.

“In the first half of this year alone, three major disability providers have faced allegations of significant problems.

“Pete Hodgson needs to assure the public and the disabled community that all the issues are being properly investigated, and that this will not be another whitewash from the Labour Government.”

ENDS

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