Terms of reference for intellectual disability systemic investigations

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The Systemic Improvement Investigations (SII) team undertakes self-initiated investigations (under the Ombudsmen Act 1975) into systemic issues where the Chief Ombudsman thinks their intervention has the potential to improve public sector administration and decision-making.

The Chief Ombudsman Peter Boshier has commenced two investigations into the Ministry of Health’s oversight of facilities and services for intellectually disabled1 people with high and complex needs.

The first investigation will look into the quality of the data collected by the Ministry relating to the deaths of intellectually disabled people in forensic and residential care. The investigation will consider what data the Ministry is collecting about the deaths of people in this group, the extent and quality of this data, and how it is analysed, used and reported.

The second investigation concerns the facilities and services provided by the Ministry for people with an intellectual disability, particularly those who are subject to the High and Complex Framework. This investigation will cover the role of the Ministry in planning, resourcing and co-ordinating facilities and services for those people.

Specifically, whether the facilities and services provided by the Ministry are adequate for those referred by the courts for assessment as well as for long-term clients, women and youth. The investigation will also look at how much workforce planning is being done to make sure there are enough appropriately trained staff.

The investigations also reflect the Ombudsman’s role in protecting and monitoring disability rights in New Zealand under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

1The term ‘intellectual disability' is used to refer to people with high and complex support needs, who in many cases may also be living with multiple impairments. Other people and agencies may prefer the terms ‘learning disability’ or ‘tangata whaikaha hinengaro’. Please consult the FAQs for further discussion of these terms.

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