Tuesday, 16 April 2024
    Autistic man languishes in hospital
    Health Care

    Autistic man languishes in hospital

    A 20-year-old autistic man has been "languishing" in a country hospital for nearly a month because his family cannot find suitable skilled support workers, ABC News reports.

    Ryan Croft's family said they had to admit him to Bunbury Hospital because they could not find the right support for his destructive and sometimes violent behaviour.

    Disability advocates say too many disabled people with complex needs are still ending up in hospital care.

    Ed Croft, a teacher, says the family has a substantial funding package through the NDIS for his son, who is non-verbal and has an intellectual disability.

    But care arrangements with a local NDIS provider for Ryan to live independently broke down in December.

    Mr Croft said while he was grateful that a team of people from various agencies was trying to help, hospital was not the place for Ryan.

    "For my son to be languishing in a hospital, it's not the environment for him to be in," he said.

    Greens Senator Jordan Steele-John, who uses a wheelchair, says he is aware of similar cases across Australia.

    "It's very common and very distressing, across the nation," he said.

    "We are seeing disabled people being put in incredible situations of distress as supports are withdrawn, either because of failures at the NDIS level, or failures at the service provider level.

    "This leaves us to rely on a public hospital system that is overburdened at the best of times."

    Autism Awareness chief executive Nicole Rogerson said complex cases like the Crofts' were often put in the "too hard basket".

    "What's making it even worse now is a chronic skills shortage for people to work in the disability sector," she said.

    A National Disability Insurance Agency spokesperson said the agency recognised the challenges the Croft family was experiencing and was working with them.

    "The NDIA recognises the historical challenges faced by participants in rural and remote areas in accessing a range of services," the spokesperson said.


    Disability support worker shortage leads to 20yo autistic man being put in hospital (ABC News)


    Ryan Croft has been in Bunbury hospital since March.(Supplied: Ed Croft)