Ann-Marie Smith’s death provokes outrage and demands for answers
Back in April this year, 54 year old Ann-Marie Smith, who lived with cerebral palsy died from septic shock, pressure sores, blood poisoning, multiple organ failure and malnutrition caused by her being left unattended on a wicker chair in ‘disgusting and degrading’ unsanitary conditions at her Kensington Gardens home for over a year by her carer.
This horrific incident sent shockwaves throughout Australia’s disability community, provoking outrage over how Ms Smith was not checked on more regularly by Integrity Care SA, the privately owned service provider contracted by the NDIS who were responsible for her welfare.
SA Police and the state government have both launched investigations into the circumstances of Ms Smith’s death, including a taskforce to be chaired by Dr David Caudrey who will examine gaps in oversight and safeguards in the disability care system. But some disability advocates and the SA Shadow Human Services Minister Nat Cook are now calling for Dr Caudrey to step down due to a ‘conflict of interest’.