Sheila McHale

Sheila McHale

Minister for Disability Services; Tourism; Culture and the Arts; Consumer Protection

    Report into The Centre for Cerebral Palsy released

    14/12/2007 11:06 AM

    An independent report into the operations of The Centre for Cerebral Palsy (TCCP) has found no link between its practices and a number of deaths at its residences.

    Disability Services Minister Sheila McHale said the independent inquiry investigated the care and well-being of residents, after concerns were raised by families following the deaths of 17 cerebral palsy sufferers from 2001.

    Ms McHale said the nine-person inquiry committee, headed by Brightwater Care Group chief executive officer Dr Penny Flett, concluded the deaths were not preventable and did not reflect a lack of care.

    “Dr Flett found that these people required very high levels of support and had complex medical issues,” she said.

    The Minister said the review had discovered problems within TCCP and that further reforms were required.

    “The review found the organisation has some substantial problems, particularly with clinical and management practices and the presence of a poor organisational culture,” she said.

    “These problems will remain unless decisive action is taken by the board and management team.

    “I have been assured by the incoming board chairman Mr Keith Chapman that all the recommendations and suggested reforms of the report will be implemented as a matter of urgency to get TCCP back on track.

    “I am also assured by Disability Services Commission director general Ron Chalmers that his agency has been developing a new, highly rigorous monitoring system and that this system will be designed to be the best in the nation.”

    Ms McHale said the review acknowledged TCCP had implemented a series of reforms to improve the level of clinical care over the past 12 months.

    “I am aware of the challenges of providing support for people with profound disabilities at a time when attracting and retaining appropriately skilled staff is getting harder,” she said.

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