South Australia Police raided the offices of care provider Integrity Care, along with a residential property, on Tuesday as the investigation into the death of Adelaide woman Ann Marie Smith continues.
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.
SA Police allege she died as a result of serious criminal neglect and a 68-year-old carer was arrested and charged with manslaughter in August.
Earlier today, detectives from the Major Crime Investigation Branch searched the offices of Integrity Care and a house at Huntfield Heights for electronic and documentary evidence for the investigation surrounding the death of Annie Smith.
Speaking at the scene today, Detective Superintendent Des Bray said that some Integrity Care SA had refused to cooperate with the investigation. He said: “Some employees have steadfastly refused to cooperate and have done nothing whatsoever to assist the investigation and to ensure that this sort of neglect could never happen to anybody again.”
Bray added that although Integrity Care is under investigation, many people working at the business are not responsible for and may not have known about the neglect Annie suffered.
“We know some employees were concerned about operating practices, and we plan to speak to more of them in the coming days,” Bray said. “We encourage employees to cooperate in this investigation, so we can ensure this never happens again.”
“It’s time for all employees, past and present, to do the right thing and speak to investigators by phoning Crime Stoppers tonight.”
It comes one month after Integrity Care SA was banned from operating under the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). The care provider had its registration revoked by the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission in August as a result of an ongoing investigation into the “appalling circumstances” of Ms Smith’s death.
“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.
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