Investigation into complaint by North Australian Aboriginal Justice Agency about the care provided to Ms N by Department of Health and Community Services, the Public Guardian and Council. 27 June 2013
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71 170. Ms N was subject to Guardianship orders from 15 February 1994 until her death in October 2006. From 16 June 2004 Ms Ns joint Adult Guardians and the Public Guardian were authorised to make decisions about where and with whom Ms N was to live, Ms Ns health care and Ms Ns day to day care. The Public Guardian was also appointed to manage Ms Ns finances and estate. 171. In order to make decisions about Ms Ns care it was necessary for the Public Guardian to receive reliable information and be contactable. Although the Adult Guardianship Officer said that an officer from the OPG was contactable 24 hours a day, both the Respite and Clinic Staff in Ms Ns community told the Investigation the Adult Guardianship Officer was difficult to contact. 172. The Health Clinic staff and other carers told the Investigation that Ms Ns circumstances and neglect was reported to OPG many times but that the OPG failed to act on these reports. 173. Concomitantly, the Adult Guardianship Officer complained that she did not receive sufficient information about Ms Ns care and living conditions, even though the service providers were well informed of OPG involvement. The Adult Guardianship Officer said she was not told when Ms N was suffering from neglect or abuse. The OPG records support the Adult Guardianship Officers assertion that she was often not informed or only belatedly informed about health and care issues.
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