Bettercarendis endeavours to facilitate the reimbursement process for NDIS participants in collaboration with Bettercaremarket, an ecommerce website that sources assistive healthcare products for people with a condition. The overall objective is to facilitate living at home in a convenient and practical way limiting the need for physical assistance and prolonging the individual’s independency.
This policy provides a general guideline for the required behaviour and response when an accident, incident (including critical and reportable incidents), or near miss affecting staff or participants occurs.
Given the nature of Bettercarendis activities relative to the NDIS, sections in this policy providing information on child-related Mandatory Reporting (see the Preventing and Responding to Abuse, Neglect, and Exploitation Policy and Procedure) are intended for general understanding of Bettercarendis staff.
This policy aligns with the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (NSW), the Work Health and Safety Regulations 2017 (NSW), National Disability Insurance Scheme (Incident Management and Reportable Incidents) Rules 2018 (Cwth), and the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission Reportable Incidents Guidance (2018).
This policy applies to the General Manager, and any additional staff, students, contractors, and volunteers, considering that Bettercarendis is not exposed to direct or physical contact with NDIS participants.
Separately, practical operational procedures for the daily activities of Bettercarendis will be captured various Policies, Procedures and Reports, see addendum 1.
Accident – an unforeseen event that causes damage to property, injury, or death.
Hazard – a situation that has the potential to harm a person (cause death, illness, or injury) or environment or damage property.
Hazard identification – a process that involves identifying all foreseeable hazards in the work place and understanding the possible harm that each hazard may cause
Hazard management – a structured process of hazard identification, risk assessment, and control, aimed at providing safe and healthy conditions for staff members, contractors, and visitors while on the premises
Harm – includes death, or injury, illness (physical or psychological), or disease that may be suffered by a person as a consequence of exposure to a hazard, and is the resultingimpact of the act, omission, event or circumstance that occurs, and can include physical,emotional or psychological impacts such as physical injuries, emotional impacts such asfear or poor self-esteem, and psychological impacts such as depression or impacts on a person’s learning and development.
Incident – an incident is defined as an act, omission, event or circumstance. It may mean any of the following:
Mandatory Reporter Guide (MRG) - assisting mandatory reporters to determine childrelated reporting requirements, the MRG is part of the NSW Child story initiative.
Mandatory reporting the legal obligation of certain professionals and community member store port when they believe, on reasonable grounds, that a child is in need of protection from harm. In NSW, any staff working directly with children who have reasonable grounds to suspect that a child or children are at risk of significant harm from abuse or neglect are required to use the NSW Mandatory Reporter Guide to help determine whether the concern they have meets the statutory threshold for reporting.
NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission (the Commission) - the regulatory body established to oversee the registration of NDIS providers and monitor compliance, respond to complaints and reportable incidents, monitor behaviour support and restrictive practices, and undertake investigation and enforcement.
Near Miss – any incident which, although not resulting in any injury, illness, or damage, had the potential to do so
Notifiable Incident – any extremely serious incident arising out of the conduct of a business or undertaking at a workplace, relating to any person — whether an employee, contractor, or member of the public.
Under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (NSW) and the Work Health and Safety Regulations 2017 (NSW), businesses are obligated to notify Safe Work NSW in the event of:
Participant Incident – acts, omissions, events or circumstances that occur in connection with providing supports or services to a person with disability who receives funding under the NDIS or the Commonwealth Continuity of Support Programme relating to Specialist Disability Services for Older People.
Reportable incidents – reportable incidents are serious incidents or alleged incidents which result in harm to an NDIS participant and occur in connection with NDIS supports and services, as defined in section 73Z(4) of the Act and section 16 of the NDIS (Incident Management and Reportable Incidents) Rules 2018
Specific types of reportable incidents include:
The incident must have occurred or be alleged to have occurred in connection with the provision of supports or services Bettercarendis is or was providing.
For further examples, Bettercarendis recommends to consult the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission Reportable Incidents Guidance.
Staff are required to be vigilant in reporting incidents when they occur so that appropriate support can be provided to those affected and the circumstances can be analysed to reduce the likelihood of a similar event occurring again.
All staff, contractors, volunteers, and students have a responsibility to ensure that
details of any incident are recorded and reported to their immediate supervisor (or
General Manager, as appropriate).
Principles of the NDIS Reportable Incidents Scheme
Overview: All incident
Incidents may be reportable to one or more agencies:
Abuse and neglect in community settings should be reported to the NSW Ombudsman:
Participants affected by incidents must be provided with information about how incidents involving them have been managed.
All incidents and near misses must be reported to the General Manager (supervisor or nominated NDIS incident reporter) as soon as practicable and within 24 hours through completion of an Incident Report.
If an incident is (or maybe) Notifiable or Reportable, it must be reported to the General Manager immediately. Information required includes the:
Accidents, incidents, and near misses are to be reported to the Management Team monthly by the General Manager as part of their WHS reporting.
The General Manager will track progress and outcomes of accidents, incidents, and near misses in the Incident Report Register and refer any relevant items for inclusion in the Continuous Improvement Plan.
Assess the situation to ensure a safe and secure environment. Remove the source of danger or the person from the source of danger if safe to do so.
In urgent cases, call 000 – NSW Police and other emergency services should be called immediately (e.g., where a crime is suspected or alleged, or where there is ongoing danger). If any person requires immediate medical attention, a medical practitioner or ambulance should be called, or the participant conveyed to the nearest hospital accident and emergency department.
Where injuries do not require immediate attention, support the person to see a doctor for assessment and treatment of any injuries, including psychological trauma.
The site where the incident occurred should not be disturbed until Safe Work NSW, the Police, or the General Manager lift the requirement to preserve the area.
For all persons involved in an accident, incident, or near miss, if required, the General Manager must:
Notifiable incidents must be reported immediately to Safe Work NSW on 131050. Incidents can be notified 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
The General Manager will work with Safe Work NSW and / or other relevant authorities to investigate the incident.
The General Manager or their nominated representative will:
Upon completion of the investigation the General Manager must finalise the relevant Incident Report form and record the outcomes in the Incident Register.
The completed Incident Report should be stored on the relevant staff member’s file.
Reportable incidents will be reported to the Commission when the incident occurred, or is alleged to have occurred in connection with the provision of supports or services by that provider and covers incidents that:
Reportable incidents will be reported to the Commission whilst occurring in a variety of settings provided there is a connection with the service like:
Assure the participant that the incident will be taken seriously, discuss their options with them and ask them how they would like to be supported throughout the process. If a staff member is accused or suspected of harming the participant, they should be removed from contact with all participants pending an investigation.
Where a participant is accused or suspected of harming another participant, they should be removed from contact with other participants, where possible, pending an investigation. Consider the impact of the incident on the other participants within the setting and provide them with appropriate support. It is important that they are not treated simply as potential witnesses. If they can provide informed consent to contact and receive specialist services, the participant (or, if not, his or her key support person) should be asked whether he or she wishes to contact specialist/victim support services such as crisis care, counselling, advocacy, a legal information service, or a lawyer.
Notify other service providers known to be working with that participant, if appropriate. Record agreed actions for the participant’s immediate and ongoing needs in the Participant Support Plan. This must include:
Reportable Incidents may also qualify as Notifiable Incidents (see glossary above), criminal incidents, or child-related incidents, and should be reported to all appropriate agencies. Reportable Incidents – including alleged incidents – must be reported to the NDIS Commissioner.
The General Manager is responsible for reporting all Reportable Incidents unless the role is otherwise delegated. If a person with disability discloses an incident that occurred in the past, it should generally be treated in the same way as any other reportable incident, noting that the immediate response may differ. The reporting officer must provide the following information to the NDIS Commission where it can be collected:
Unauthorised use of restrictive practices must be reported to the NDIS Commission within five business days upon Bettercarendis becoming aware of the incident.
All other Reportable Incidents must be reported immediately, or within 24 hours of Bettercarendis key personnel becoming aware of the incident.
Incidents must be documented using the following forms:
A police investigation takes priority over a reportable incident investigation. Clearance must be obtained from police before taking any action that might compromise the investigation. Bettercarendis will manage any ongoing risk and should maintain an open dialogue with police about any investigation they are conducting.
Bettercarendis will inform the NDIS Commission where a Police investigation delays conducting are quired investigation and finalising a report.
Bettercarendis will investigate and respond to all Reportable Incidents. The nature of any investigation or actions following an incident will be proportionate to the harm caused and any risk of future harm to people with disability. If the NDIS Commission requires a Reportable Incident to be investigated, either internally or by an external independent investigator, Bettercarendis will fully comply with the Commission’s requests.
Where an incident relates to potential staff-to-participant abuse or poor quality of care, some degree of independence is required for the investigation. Depending on the nature of the incident and the organisation, one of the following may be appropriate to conduct the investigation:
An investigation must:
Internal and external investigators must be appropriately trained in conducting serious workplace investigations, including investigating serious incidents that may involve a criminal element.
The General Manager (or delegated investigator) will appropriately assess and/or investigate all incidents having regard to the views of any person with disability impacted by an incident and including the following:
If required, Bettercarendis will supply details to the NDIS Commission in connection with any internal or external investigation or assessment that has been undertaken in relation to the reportable incident, including:
The details outlined above should be included in the final report to the NDIS Commission which must be provided within 60 business days following the initial notification. The NDIS Commission may extend the period for providing the final report – for example, if there is a concurrent police investigation the reportable incident investigation will be justifiably delayed. The notification must be made in writing, by completing a form approved by the NDIS Commission and returning it to the NDIS Commission via email.
Participants affected by incidents will be provided information about how the incident has been managed and the measures taken to ensure against recurrence. All investigations should determine whether corrective and/or restorative measures are required. The NDIS Commission may require Bettercarendis to take corrective and/or restorative measures. The NDIS Commission may work with Bettercarendis to implement the measures and monitor progress.
Restorative measures may include, but are not limited to:
Corrective measures may include, but are not limited to:
Bettercarendis will support participants through the justice process, including police investigation, prosecution, and crimes compensation processes as appropriate. This may include:
Where a participant perpetrates a reportable offence and requires legal representation and assistance during the investigation and hearing, Bettercarendis will assist the participant or contact the service most directly responsible for the participant’s care to organise support.
Records of all reportable incidents that occur or are alleged to have occurred must be kept for a period of 7 (seven) years from the date of notifying the NDIS Commission.
Bettercarendis will retain:
Incidents involving participants under 18 years old should be kept until the participant turns (or would have turned) 25 years old. The General Manager (or delegate) will be responsible for creating and maintaining incident records, while the provider will be required to retain them.
The MRG is an online automated decision-making tool which generates decisions in response to input information, assisting mandatory reporters determine how to respond to and report child-related abuse and neglect. Responses include:
Where new information becomes available, review the MRG’s decision accordingly.
The incident management system will be regularly reviewed on the guidance of the frequency and seriousness of reported incidents occurring in one quarter. Reviews will then include:
Where policies, procedures and processes are revised, changes will be communicated to staff, participants and their supporters as appropriate.
Bettercarendis practical operational procedures capturing the daily activities working with NDIS Participants: