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A recent roundtable event brought together over 20 of Victoria’s leading Disability Service providers and Grant Thornton specialists to focus on actions to be taken ahead of the upcoming Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability.
The clear message to come out of the roundtable event – the fourth in a national series, held in Melbourne on 29 May 2019 – was that although daunted by the process ahead, there is strong hope the Royal Commission will deliver great outcomes for the sector.
However, the discussion also highlighted concerns for Disability Services providers around the challenges and impacts that are set to come.
“There are concerns specifically around the impact on people (staff, clients) and also there was underlying anxiety about how to best prepare,” Eric Passaris, Partner and local Head of Not for Profit, Grant Thornton, said.
According to Passaris, preparation is critical.
“These organisations need to be prepared from an information perspective, and they also need to be prepared for how their organisations will respond and support their people and clients.”
“Don’t wait! Be on the front foot. We know the commission is coming. Do you have your information assembled and ready to go? Go through a discovery phase, assemble your information, have it vetted by external professionals such as Grant Thornton – who have contributed in this same way ahead of the Aged Care Royal Commission.”
Passaris adds that getting this external assistance will be invaluable and will lay the foundations to not only navigate the Royal Commission with ease but also for the long-term sustainability of their organisation.
“Organisations who are smart about the investments they make in preparing for the Royal Commission will realise additional benefits for their businesses - such as process improvement, business improvement.”
Another concern raised at the roundtable was the Royal Commission’s impact on people.
“Service providers are concerned about the impact on all staff – not just at the executive level but also on clients who may be called to give examples of their experience. It’s critically important these organisations are looking after their staff and their clients through this process. You could be fooled into thinking this is something that could only reside at the executive level. It won’t.”
Grant Thornton’s roundtable series is just the start of conversations around the Royal Commission, as the firm seeks to educate and inform executives and those at a governance level and arm them with the tools they need to assist them through the process ahead.
For more information or guidance through the Royal Commission process contact Grant Thornton’s Health & Aged Care team.
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