Young Woman with Disabilities Forced to Live in a Hospital Instead of a Home

Acting Shadow Minister for Disability Services Kate Washington and Labor candidate for Heathcote Maryanne Stuart have highlighted the case of Kym Flowers - as the latest example of vulnerable people falling through the cracks of the NDIS - against the backdrop of a privatised disability sector in NSW.

The Engadine woman with cerebral palsy has spent four months living in a ward at Sutherland Hospital because her private group home provider is unwilling to have her return, despite her being well enough to leave hospital to attend day programs.

Kym Flowers is a 34 year old woman with cerebral palsy who developed complications with diabetes while living in a group home. Ms Flowers’ additional health issues have now been cited by her group home provider as the reason why they cannot take her back.

In the absence of any other local housing options, hospital staff are now recommending Ms Flowers move into an aged care facility, despite being only 34 years old.

The already-stretched NSW Health system is facing increased pressure because of the Berejkilian Government’s privatisation of disability services, including government-run group homes.

Both Kate Washington and Heathcote Liberal MP Lee Evans have raised Ms Flowers’ case with the Minister for Disability Services, but the Minister has offered no resolution.

NSW Labor has secured crossbench support for a parliamentary inquiry into the roll out of the NDIS and impact of the privatisation of NSW disability services. Submissions to the inquiry close 9 August.

Quotes attributable to Kate Washington MP, Acting Shadow Minister for Disability Services

“With the Berejiklian Government’s heartless privatisation of disability services, there are now too many gaps in services. Kym has now spent 4 months living in hospital because she has nowhere else to turn.

“Hospitals and aged care have become the safety net for people whose disability is considered too complex for private service providers to manage.

“It’s cases like this that highlight the importance of the NSW Parliamentary Inquiry. We want to understand where the gaps in services are, so we can ensure other people don’t fall through the cracks."

Quotes attributable to Maryanne Stuart, Labor candidate for Heathcote

“This is a heartbreaking situation. For four months, Kym has stayed in hospital, with nowhere else to turn, and now faces the prospect of spending the rest of her life in aged care.

“The Minister must intervene and ensure that Kym has access to proper accommodation and care. “Kym wants to get out of hospital. She deserves a home.”

This item was distributed as a media release on Thursday 26 July 2018.


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