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Urgent need for hospitals in Australia to have trained disability workers

Staff In Busy Lobby Area of Modern Hospital

Two brothers who have an intellectual disability become extremely anxious when they have to go to hospital, with one of them fearing staff are trying to harm him, an inquiry has heard, reports Associated Press.

Their mother Narelle Reynolds will share the NSW family’s story with the the Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability in Sydney this week, in the hope that her pleas for help will no longer be ignored. Ms Reynolds has spoken publicly about the difficulties faced by her adult sons Luke and Justin, who live with the genetic condition Fragile X syndrome.

They both experience great anxiety attending hospital and fear certain medical procedures, senior counsel assisting the commission Kate Eastman SC said in her opening address to the two-week hearing. Ms Reynolds will tell the commission her pleas to have assistance for her sons to access medical services have been ignored. She will talk about the nine failed attempts to undertake a biopsy on one of her sons, Ms Eastman said.

“She will tell the royal commission that she sees that there is an urgent need for hospitals to have trained disability workers who are able to manage the fears and anxieties of people with disability and make adjustments when they come to hospital.”

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