Resident Rights

Section 2A of the Disability Services Act establishes key principles for the operation of the Act. It provides that a resident’s treatment and care must be reviewed regularly, that the least restrictive alternative is used, and a resident’s treatment and care under the Act must cease if the resident is no longer receiving a therapeutic benefit.

A resident has the following rights specified in the Disability Services Act:

  • That their treatment plan states the therapeutic benefit of the plan, and includes information about the process for transition to living in community or lower levels of supervision (section 6);
  • To be consulted in the development of their positive behaviour support plan, and be given a copy of the plan (section 36);
  • That the positive behaviour support plan must be reviewed annually (section 39); 
  • If a resident has any concerns with the restrictive interventions in their positive behaviour support plan, to be able to apply to a specially constituted Panel to review the use of restrictive interventions in the plan (section 40);
  • If a resident does require restrictive interventions, to receive various provisions for their comfort and safety (such as bedding, food, toilet facilities, and so on) (section 41);
  • To be able to make a complaint (section 46), for this to be investigated and to be kept informed of progress and any action taken in relation to the complaint (section 48);
  • To be given information about the Community Visitor Program, including the resident’s right to be visited by a Community Visitor and how to make contact with a Community Visitor (section 58); 
  • If the resident requests to see a Community Visitor, that the manager of residential facility passes on this request to the Community Visitor Program (section 58).

The Australian Charter of Healthcare Rights should also be seen as an overarching statement of healthcare rights, describing the rights of all people using the Australian healthcare system.

The NT Code of Health and Community Rights and Responsibilities also provides rights and responsibilities on both users and providers of health and community services in the Northern Territory.