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What support workers need to know about mandatory incident reporting

As a support worker in the disability and aged care sectors, you need to understand your responsibilities to recognise, prevent, and report incidents. By following the correct procedure for identifying and reporting an incident, you are respecting the rights and wellbeing of the person you support while meeting government regulatory requirements. If an incident has affected your physical or mental health, reporting is the first step for you to access support.

Mable makes it easy for you to report an incident. Our Trust and Safety Team reviews all reported incidents within 48 hours to meet current government regulations and provide access to support services for affected support workers and clients.

What is an ‘incident’?

Mable defines incidents as:

“An act, omission, event, or circumstance that causes harm, or could reasonably be expected to cause harm, during or in connection with an arranged service between a client and support service provider.”

All independent support workers have to report incidents of abuse or neglect of a child, elder or person with disability to the relevant state authority as well as Mable’s Trust and Safety Team (except where prohibited by law) as under Mable’s terms of use.

You must report an incident that has occurred (or you have become aware of) during a support session:

  • That has caused or could reasonably have been expected to cause your client’s physical or psychological injury or discomfort, requiring medical treatment:
    • Injury
    • Assault (eg, physical or sexual) or unreasonable use of force (eg hitting, pushing, shoving)
    • Psychological abuse (eg yelling, name-calling, threatening gestures) or neglect (eg, withholding personal care, insufficient assistance with meals)
    • Unlawful or inappropriate sexual contact, threats or sexual grooming
    • Restrictive practice not in accordance with a behaviour support plan; or
  • if there are reasonable grounds to contact the police; or
  • if there is the unexpected death of a client or unexplained absence from the service

Examples of other reportable incidents include:

  • Falls
  • Acquired pressure injuries (bedsores)
  • Wrong/missed medication
  • The client is taken to hospital for any reason
  • Stealing or financial coercion

How do I report an incident?

You’ll see a mandatory incident reporting declaration each time you submit your support hours for invoicing. You can also access the online incident form or seek advice by contacting us on 1300 73 65 73 or trustandsafety@mable.com.au.

Please report an incident as soon as practical and possible. If the incident falls within a ‘reportable incident’ category, it must be reported to the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission or the Aged Care Commission with legislative and regulatory requirements to report within specific timeframes within 24 hours.

If you’re in doubt, report the incident, no matter how large or small. You can also contact Mable’s Trust and Safety Team for assistance.

What happens after I report an incident?

Mable’s Trust and Safety Team will review the incident and contact you within 48 hours. If the incident is serious, the team will contact you sooner.

Depending on the severity of the incident, they’ll take different steps, including:

  • Contacting affected parties to gather more information.
  • Providing access to support services (including the Employee Assistance Program).
  • Ensuring continuity of services for a client. 
  • Liaising with Gow-Gates Insurance Brokers Pty Ltd and the support worker and/or client to assist with an insurance claim, if required.

If a serious incident within a ‘reportable incident’ category has happened, we’ll report it to the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission or the Aged Care Commission.

If a registered disability provider or approved home care provider is connected to the client’s account, Mable will also forward the incident details for review and investigation.  

What if my client or client’s family don’t want me to report the incident?

All independent support workers are responsible for reporting incidents to meet legislative and regulatory reporting requirements. After you report an incident, Mable is required to inform the reported party of allegations made against them and may not be able to guarantee your anonymity. Contact the police if you have concerns.

What assistance is available to me if an incident happens?

Mable provides an Employee Assistance Program, and for severe incidents other support services are available if needed.

I’m not sure if it’s an incident or just something to include in support notes?

If you are in any doubt, report the incident or contact us on 1300 73 65 73 or trustandsafety@mable.com.au for assistance.

How are incidents affecting NDIS participants defined and regulated?

The Australian Government’s Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission’s Serious Incident Response Scheme is responsible for regulations relating to age care services. You can find more information about age care reportable incident obligations on their website.

Questions

If you have any questions, concerns or feedback, please contact our Trust and Safety Team at 1300 73 If you have any questions, concerns or feedback, please email our Trust and Safety Team at on trustandsafety@mable.com.au or call us on 1300 73 65 73.

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