10 Aug 2015

Caregiver held disabled teen on floor

8:08 pm on 10 August 2015

A caregiver who grabbed an intellectually disabled teenager and held him on the floor of a residential facility in 2013 has been told to apologise.

The Government says better employment support for people with mental illness is the first aim of the scheme.

Photo: 123RF

In a report today, Deputy Health and Disability Commissioner Rose Wall said the caregiver's decision to restrain him and the method used was unnecessary and inappropriate.

Ms Wall said when the caregiver told the teenager to stop playing cards, the youth became agitated and threw a pen at him.

The two ended up on the floor for about 10 minutes with the caregiver holding the teenager's hands, with one hand on his chest.

She said the unnamed caregiver, who weighed about 170kg, breached patient rights by the way he restrained the 50-60kg 18-year-old, holding him on the floor with his hands at his sides.

"This caregiver is a much larger man - he's three times the size of the young man. He single-handedly fell to the ground with the young man - this shouldn't have happened," she said.

"If restraint was going to be considered, it should have been a very controlled exercise, with two caregivers involved."

Ms Wall said the youth, who has a mild intellectual disability, cried a little but appeared to be fine afterwards.

She said the facility itself did not breach standards, but should not have waited two and a half weeks before investigating the incident.