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Client Advocacy and Support

Muscular Dystrophy Queensland is committed supporting the legal and human rights of individuals and their right to services.

Advocacy is embedded in our work for clients.  MDQ also leads systemic advocacy and within our capacity, will use our privately funded resources to advocate for clients’ significant needs.

Our organisation also strongly supports the right of clients to use an external advocate of their choice to negotiate on their behalf. This advocate may be used in relation to assessment, reviews, complaints or any other communication between the client and this organisation.

Systemic Advocacy

The CEO leads systemic advocacy. Issues arising within Queensland are addressed to appropriate government agencies, either with MDQ as the sole advocate or in partnership with other Queensland agencies. National issues are taken to the Muscular Dystrophy Foundation where the Executive Committee makes decisions about issues for advocacy.

Individual Advocacy

MDQ staff may be able to provide individual advocacy, for example supporting you to make appropriate complaints, writing letters of support, supporting you to lodge an appeal with the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (MDQ does not have the capacity to support you through the process of an appeal to the Administrative Appeals Tribunalfor this support, MDQ will refer you to an external advocate and if appropriate, to Legal Aid Queensland)

Significant issues are referred to the CEO. Approvals are at the discretion of the CEO who makes decisions based on significance of the issue, urgency, family history, circumstances and availability of MDQ resources.

MDQ Client Services staff can provide you with information about external advocacy agencies.

Supporting Advocacy

We support your right to use an external advocate of your choice to negotiate on your behalf or support you. Your advocate can be present at assessments, reviews, meetings or for any other communication between the you and MDQ. Our staff will not provide any information to an advocate when you are not present unless you have given permission to do so.

Client Representatives

In some circumstances, MDQ may communicate directly with a client representative. Authorised client representatives include:

  • Guardians
  • Attorneys under enduring powers of attorney
  • Agents under the Medical Treatment Act1988
  • Administrators under the Guardianship and Administration Act 1986
  • A person otherwise empowered by the consumers to act or make decisions in their best interests.

We will request to see proof of representative authority and will keep a copy of the documentation on file.

 

Our full ‘Providing Client Advocacy and Support’ policy is available on request.