Muscular Dystrophy Queensland (MDQ) is committed to providing services in a safe and competent manner and ensuring that incidents which occur in relation to the provision of services are managed consistently and effectively, and that workers can identify, manage, report and resolve incidents.
We take a risk based approach to our services with the goal of lessening risk. We are determined to continually improve the safety and quality of our services.
Muscular Dystrophy Queensland promotes a culture of open reporting. All workers, clients and others are encouraged to report any incident or alleged incident and there will be no negative consequences for doing so. Those involved have the right to information and input throughout the investigation and reporting process, and to a support person.
What should be reported
Any incident involving a client of MDQ that has occurred during the provision of MDQ services that has caused harm (or could have caused harm) should be reported. This includes:
- Injury (minor, major or potential)
- Abuse or neglect
- Emotional trauma
- Sexual misconduct or inappropriate behaviour
- Unauthorised restrictive practice
- Security incident
- Damage to property or the environment
Immediate action should be taken to remove or minimise danger to clients, staff and witnesses. Emergency services will be called and first administered if appropriate. MDQ staff will report any incident to their supervisor or manager who will complete MDQ’s incident investigation process. Those involved have the right to information and input throughout the investigation and reporting process, and to a support person.
Throughout the incident management process, from initial response through to review, clients will be supported by the organisation through means of:
- Reassurance if a client or family member was involved in or reported the incident
- Where required, trauma and counselling services
- If necessary, changes to regular supports
- Clear, ongoing communication regarding the progress and outcomes of the investigation.
Clients will be involved in the management and resolution of the incident where appropriate. This includes:
- Ongoing information as incidents are being investigated
- Copy of any reports and also any changes made as a result of the investigation into the incident
Assessment and investigation
Following a report from a worker, client or member of the public, the relevant supervisor or manager is responsible for creating an initial assessment of any incident. They will determine the severity of an incident and establish the need for, and scope of, an investigation. The matter may be referred to the manager or CEO, based on the type and seriousness of the incident. Minor incidents can be managed internally.
If the incident happened in connection to an NDIS service and is classified as a Reportable Incident, MDQ will also report the incident to the NDIS Commission. The NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission also has a Participant Fact Sheet about this.
NDIS reportable incidents include;
- The death of a person with disability
- Serious injury of a person with disability
- Abuse or neglect of a person with disability
- Unlawful sexual or physical contact with, or assault of, a person with disability
- Sexual misconduct, committed against, or in the presence of, a person with disability, including grooming of the person with disability for sexual activity
- Unauthorised use of restrictive practices in relation to a person with disability.
Incidents involving criminal allegations will be reported to law enforcement, who will receive full support of the organisation in their investigations.
Whenever an investigation into an incident is conducted, it should establish:
- Participants in the incident
- The cause of an incident
- The effect of an incident
- Any organisational processes that contributed to or did not function in preventing an incident
- Changes the organisation can make in order to prevent further incidents from occurring
Information related to incident investigations, including records of phone conversations and face to face interviews, emails and documents will be recorded and kept in strict confidence. MDQ keeps an accurate register of all incidents that occur in relation to the provision of MDQ services. Records will be kept for a minimum of seven years for an adult and for seven years post a child achieving adulthood.
Based on MDQ’s assessment, the organisation may undertake remedial action proportionate to the severity of the incident, including but not limited to:
- Providing an apology
- Disciplinary action
- Offer of psychological and emotional support
- Financial compensation
The organisation collects and reviews data on incidents to inform improvement activities. The Chief Executive officer regularly reports incidents to the Directors and also provides an annual report addressing incidents – how they have been managed and actions which have been taken to continually improve practice as a result of the learning from incidents.
MDQ’s full Incident Management Policy is available on request. We may at any time update or remove this policy without prior notice. Any changes to this policy will be published here on our website. This policy was last updated in August 2020.