Advocates Call For Reform Of Residential Services
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
May 9, 2006
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND--A disability rights group is calling for reforms in the way residential services are provided for New Zealanders with disabilities.
Radio New Zealand reported Monday that an investigation it conducted found a number of complaints and allegations of staff bullying, medication errors, inadequate staff training, and theft of residents' belongings.
Lorna Sullivan, spokesperson with the Disabled Persons Assembly, told the broadcaster that she has personally evaluated several homes and discovered that over-medication and poor dental hygiene were common. She said staff at one facility considered the behavior of a resident who kept banging his head against a wall as "normal".
The National Party and DPA are calling for a formal parliamentary investigation into the alleged abuse and neglect.
The Health Ministry and services providers have dismissed those calls, saying the current system of handling complaints is adequate.