People with intellectual disability or cognitive impairment residing long-term in health care facilities

A significant number of people with disability continue to live in long‐stay health care facilities, including psychiatric hospitals.

In June 2013, the Public Advocate released the Position Statement on Continuing the Deinstitutionalisation of People with Disability in Queensland. It opposed the placement of people with disability in exclusionary and non-participatory environments.

The project built on the position statement by raising awareness and encouraging government to develop strategies to target this issue.

A systemic advocacy report—People with intellectual disability or cognitive impairment residing long-term in health care facilities: Addressing the barriers to deinstitutionalisation—was tabled in Parliament on 7 November 2013.

In December 2013, the Public Advocate released an addendum to the report.

In 2013-14, the Queensland Government commenced the development and implementation of the Queensland Government Joint Action Plan–Transition of long-stay younger people with disability from Queensland public health facilities (the Joint Action Plan).

The Joint Action Plan was developed in partnership between the Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services, Queensland Health, and the Department of Housing and Public Works.

The Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services and Queensland Health reported that 25 young people moved out of long-stay facilities in 2013-14 and a further 35 people with disability transitioned from public health facilities to more appropriate living arrangements in the community in 2014-15. The Department has advised that the continued implementation of the Joint Action Plan resulted in 29 young people transitioning out of long-stay health facilities in 2015-16. This brings the total number of young people transitioned from public health facilities to more appropriate living arrangements since 2013-14 to 103, with 89 transitioned since the commencement of the Joint Action Plan.

Approximately half of the people who have been assisted to transition from public health facilities had an intellectual or cognitive impairment, while the remaining people had other disabilities (such as psychiatric, physical and neurological). Nearly three-quarters of people assisted through the Joint Action Plan have moved to live either independently or with family members, while the remainder have moved into shared and supported accommodation.