Disability care agency banned after degrading death of Adelaide woman Ann Marie Smith

The NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission on Wednesday announced it was revoking the registration of the company responsible for caring for 54-year-old woman Anne Marie Smith before her death in what police described as deeply shocking conditions in April.

The NDIS commission said the company, Integrity Care SA, had its registration cancelled and would be issued with a banning order for “a number of contraventions of the NDIS Act” following an investigation into the “appalling circumstances” of Smith’s death.

That investigation remains ongoing and Graeme Head, the NDIS Quality and Safeguards commissioner, said in a statement the commission would “take decisions about any further regulatory actions” if required.

“Our first priority has been the safety of the other NDIS participants supported by Integrity Care during our investigation,” he said.

“We issued a compliance notice requiring Integrity Care to engage an independent, suitably qualified health professional to undertake a physical welfare check on the NDIS participants they support.

“The NDIS commission has also worked with the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) to make contact with all NDIS participants receiving support from Integrity Care to check on their wellbeing.”

Smith died in the Royal Adelaide hospital on 6 April after being discovered in putrid conditions in her Adelaide home. According to detectives, she had been sitting in the same woven cane chair for more than a year and her flesh was rotting and she was malnourished.

Police launched their investigation soon after Smith’s death, and the NDIS commissioner appointed former federal court judge Alan Robertson to lead an independent inquiry.

Last week Smith’s former carer was charged with manslaughter over her death.

The NDIS Commission previously fined Integrity Care $12,600 in May for their failure to notify the commission of Smith’s death within 24 hours.

The revocation of Integrity Care’s registration will take effect from 14 August while the ban will come into place from 21 August.

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