PURPOSE

Based on some recent events reported to the Division of Developmental Disabilities by the Office of the Inspector General, we would like to offer some suggestions that providers might want to consider and reinforce with staff.

There were two incidents involving individuals being left in vehicles upon return from day programming. Both agencies had a protocol in place that allowed them to address the oversight. One agency has the driver hanging a placard at the rear of the van to confirm that all individuals were dropped off at their destinations. When agency maintenance staff later checked the van and saw that the placard was not hanging, they unlocked the vehicle and escorted the individual home.

Other recent reports included improper strapping of a wheelchair to a bus floor and an individual catching a finger in a wheelchair lift as it was being lowered.

When more than one staff person accompanies individuals in a vehicle, there may not be one "best practice". The type and duration of the outing and the individuals' person centered plans should be considered when deciding where the non-driving staff is seated.

The health and safety of the individuals we serve is of paramount importance to all of us. However, mistakes and oversights can happen to the best of us. Please review the above with your staff to ensure your policies and procedures address these issues.