Ann Marie Smith’s care provider banned after investigation into ‘appalling’ death

Aug 13, 2020
Ann Marie Smith passed away on April 6, 2020. Source: SA Police.

The care agency which provided care for Adelaide woman Ann Marie Smith, who died as a result of septic shock and multiple organ failure earlier this year, has been banned from operating under the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).

Integrity Care SA has had its registration revoked by the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission on Wednesday, as a result of an ongoing investigation into the “appalling circumstances” of Ms Smith’s death in April. The 54-year-old, who had cerebral palsy and relied on a carer, died as a result of septic shock, multiple organ failure from severe pressure sores and cerebral palsy, while she had also suffered from malnutrition.

Smith passsed away at Royal Adelaide Hospital on April 6 and South Australia Police will allege that Ann died of serious criminal neglect and her death was preventable.

“Integrity Care was advised in early June 2020 of the intention to revoke the organisation’s registration and to ban it from operating, and was given an opportunity to respond,” said NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commissioner Graeme Head.

“There are very clear requirements under the NDIS Act as to how the NDIS Commission takes compliance actions, so that decisions are made with due process. This includes giving ample opportunity for the party subject to these actions to respond.”

Revoking the registration of a provider means that the provider can no longer provide NDIS-funded supports and services to NDIS participants as a registered NDIS provider. While the banning order in this matter bans the provider from providing all NDIS-funded supports and services to any person in the scheme.

The news comes one week after a woman was arrested and charged with manslaughter in relation to the Ms Smith’s death. An unidentified 68-year-old woman was arrested on August 6 at her home in Hectorville.  Police searched the woman’s home, along with a second address in Banksia Park.

“We have built a picture of Annie’s life since the death of her parents in 2009. She led an active and outgoing life from 2009-2018 but in the past two years she became more socially isolated and her quality of life deteriorated,” Detective Superintendent Des Bray, from the major crimes unit, said.

Bray also confirmed that the police investigation will now move into its second phase, as police continue to investigate all aspects of Ann Marie Smith’s life.

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