Patient death and bungled records


‘Incredibly distressing’: Minister intervenes over patient death and bungled records

Carrie FellnerAugust 7, 2020 — 12.02am

Bungled medical records given to the family of a man who died following treatment in a western NSW hospital mistakenly contained confidential notes belonging to another patient, listed the wrong surgeon and were missing a key blood report.

These mistakes come amid revelations a ministerial review team investigating the patient’s death interviewed his family the day before their reporting deadline and were then denied requests for more time to “adequately investigate” concerns raised at the meeting.

Mr Wells died after he was discharged from Cobar hospital against his family’s wishes last year. His treatment was branded “Third World” in May by his daughter, Jamelle Wells, a Sydney-based journalist.

While Mr Wells was in Dubbo Base Hospital he went without food or water for three days because it was too expensive to roster staff on, in a ward that ran out of morphine and Panadol, his family said.

The state of his medical records was slammed as a “shambles” by Lorraine Long of the Medical Error Action Group.

The Western NSW Local Health District disputes the claims made by Mr Wells’ family.

Mr Hazzard ordered the health district to conduct a review of the patient’s experiences and make its report available to him upon completion.

The Herald understands the review is being carried out by Dr Clare Skinner, the director of emergency medicine at Hornsby Hospital, and Dr Melanie Berry, the clinical director of quality and safety at the Western NSW Local Health District.

Mr Fahy “sincerely apologised” for an administrative error that meant the wrong doctor was listed on Mr Wells’ medical records.

He said the reason blood transfusion notes were missing was not clear and would be reviewed.

There is no suggestion Mr Fahy was personally responsible for any error made in the record-keeping or Mr Wells’ treatment.

Mr Wells’ family were astonished to later discover that one page of the medical records belonged to another elderly patient who lived in Narromine in Western NSW.

Ms Long of the Medical Error Action Group, who made the discovery, said the bungle was an unlawful breach of patient privacy.

“The state of Mr Wells’ records was a shambles, particularly noting missing records, gaps in records, records out of chronological order and procedures done without notes being recorded,” she said.

She accused Dubbo Base Hospital of “robbing the dead” by charging more than $600 for the records and said the usual fee was $30.

A spokesperson for the Western NSW Local Health District said it had investigated the incident, spoken to the Narromine man’s carer and apologised.

Read more of Carrie Fellner’s story in The Sydney Morning Herald:

‘Incredibly distressing’: Minister intervenes over patient death and bungled records

Britain to probe Australia’s infected blood scandal

SYDNEY – What does it take to get Australian authorities / governments to act and deal with this scandal? They are deaf, dumb and blind to it.

The UK public inquiry into tainted blood / contaminated blood / infected blood will examine Australia’s involvement in an international health scandal in which victims were historically infected by blood contaminated with deadly hepatitis C and HIV.

Australian victims and advocates have made submissions to the UK inquiry.

Australia is not interested in its own victims whatsoever.

Read more of The Age / The Sydney Morning Herald’s story by Carrie Fellner:

‘Children have died’: Britain to probe Australia’s infected blood scandal

Mother describes childbirth at Maryborough Health as torture

MARYBOROUGH, VICTORIA – Fresh concerns have been raised about the safety of Maryborough District Hospital, about 170km north-west of Melbourne in central Victoria, after a mother described her son’s birth there as “torture”.

Key points:

  • A mother has gone public for the first time about a harrowing birth at a regional hospital that left her with ongoing health issues
  • She says she felt “completely guilty” about not speaking up sooner and worries standards have not improved
  • Data shows higher rates of severe tears in mothers at regional hospitals, compared to those in metropolitan areas

Chelsea Richardson, 33, was left with faecal incontinence for almost two years after a forceps delivery without pain medication at the Maryborough District Health Service, north-west of Melbourne, in 2014.

“I wasn’t a person anymore. I’d lost my identity as a human who could feel pain,” Ms Richardson says. 

“I felt tortured.”

Ms Richardson sued the hospital for negligence in 2017. Her lawyers argued the intervention during the birth was unreasonable and that hospital staff failed in their duty of care.

She was paid an undisclosed sum in a settlement with the hospital, but she says she has not had any contact since and has not seen any evidence to indicate that standards have improved.

Read more the ABC’s Charlotte King and Andy Burns’s report:

Victorian mother describes birth at Maryborough District Health Service as ‘torture’

Hospitals: First action is to lie, and keep on lying

SHREWSBURY, ENGLAND – Hundreds more cases of potentially avoidable baby deaths, stillbirths and brain damage have emerged at an NHS trust, raising concerns about a possible cover-up of the true extent of one the biggest scandals in the health service’s history.

The additional 496 cases raise further serious concerns about maternity care at Shrewsbury and Telford hospital NHS trust since 2000.

The cases involving stillbirths, neonatal deaths or baby brain damage, as well as a small number of maternal deaths, have been passed to an independent maternity review, led by the midwifery expert Donna Ockenden. They bring the total number of cases being examined to 1,862.

They will also be passed to West Mercia police, which last month launched a criminal investigation into the trust’s maternity services. Detectives are trying to establish whether there is enough evidence to bring charges of corporate manslaughter against the trust or individual manslaughter charges against staff involved.

The extra 496 cases had not emerged until now because an “open book” initiative led by the NHS in 2018 asked only for digital records of cases identified as a cause for serious concerns. The vast majority of the 496 further cases were recorded only in paper documents.

Read more and more of The Guardian’s story:

Hundreds more potentially avoidable baby deaths found at Shropshire NHS trust

Nurse wrongly, deliberately deleted, falsely altered and made untrue entries in records of 17 patients

ADELAIDE, South Australia – Children were left unprotected from deadly diseases after a nurse administered the wrong vaccines and altered records to cover her tracks, SACAT has found.

Nurse Tracy Paterson (aka Tracy Paterson-Gray) deleted or altered the records of 17 patients while she worked as a nurse.

Ms Paterson has been banned from providing health services for 15 years.

An investigation spanning several years also discovered Tracy Paterson posed as doctors to prescribe herself weight loss medication, and blamed her young stepdaughter after she forged training certificates to make them appear current.

Read more of ABC News Kathryn Bermingham’s report:

Adelaide nurse administered wrong vaccines to children and doctored records, tribunal finds

Cobar Hospital turned man away 3 times


COBAR, some 686km west of Sydney, continues to fail its townsfolk in medical care.

Why have a hospital if clinical staff are ill-equipped with skills, equipment and medicines?

Country people deserve better and they deserve an explanation from Western NSW Local Health District, which supposedly oversees Cobar, on what it overlooks and why.

Cobar District Hospital is sounding like a sheltered workshop. Running beautifully because it has no patients and ones who do present are turned away and others denied admission altogether.

Since when do nurses control who is admitted to hospital?

Read more of Carrie Fellner’s story in today’s The Sydney Morning Herald

A hospital turned him away 3 times then 2.5m of his bowel ‘died’

No food or Panadol for patient


DUBBO BASE HOSPITAL, some 390km west of Sydney, with about 130 beds, is delivering third world care.

A patient suffering extreme pain following hip fracture surgery was denied Panadol because the hospital had run out! The same patient was starved of food for 3 days because no dietician was on duty or the hospital was too mean to pay for a dietician on a long weekend.

Read how Cobar District Hospital denied the same patient medical treatment and discharged him whilst medically unwell.

Yes, folks this is ‘Australian hospital care at work’.

“Sub-optimal” is the word a Coroner described Dubbo Base Hospital. Little has changed.

Dubbo Base Hospital has the highest mortality rate post hip fracture surgery according to Bureau of Health Information report. 91% of their patients over 65 years of age die within 30 days of surgery. This is the reason why they rush to discharge patients so the Coroner doesn’t get wind of it.

Health bureaucrats use the funding excuse when it’s their maladministration which routinely dismisses the needs of country people who are entitled to the same quality of care as city people. Why aren’t they receiving it? Go ask your Member of Parliament.

On top of that, the impudence of Dubbo Base Hospital to charge a deceased pensioner’s bereaved family some $620 for a copy of his medical records is nothing short of loathsome. Perhaps their irregular “fee” can pay for a dietician at the weekend?

Read more of the plight of regional hospitals and health care by Carrie Fellner in today’s The Sydney Morning Herald:

No food or Panadol: anger over ‘third world’ conditions before death

Regional hospitals inadequate care


We have reported to state health departments and ministers for health, for years about sub-optimal care at our regional hospitals. Country people do not receive the same medical and health care as city folk. Why is that?

Dubbo Base Hospital and Cobar District Hospital surfaced on our radar years ago in the error-prone hospitals list. And Cobar is a small hospital.

An investigation by The Sydney Morning Herald has uncovered a string of troubling incidents within the past 12 months, including a death and a series of near-misses, at Cobar and Dubbo hospitals within the Western NSW Local Health District.

They include allegations a man lost most of his bowel after a hospital repeatedly refused to admit him; a patient being told his ward had “run out of Panadol”; and that in a facility that had undergone a multimillion-dollar upgrade, there was no-one who could insert an IV drip.

Read more of The Sydney Morning Herald’s Carrie Fellner’s report:

From a walk at Manly to amputation: hospitals putting lives ‘at risk’

Appalling treatment of the disabled continues

ADELAIDE — Police are investigating how an Adelaide woman with cerebral palsy was allowed to die in “disgusting and degrading circumstances”, and have declared her death a major crime.

They are considering her death a manslaughter.

Police say Ann-Marie Smith died on April 6 at Royal Adelaide Hospital of severe septic shock, multi-organ failure, severe pressure sores, malnutrition and issues connected with her cerebral palsy after being stuck in a cane chair for 24 hours a day in her Kensington Park home for more than a year.

The 54-year-old lived alone in Adelaide’s eastern suburbs and relied on a carer for all of her needs.

Read more of ABC News:

SA Police are investigating death of a woman in ‘disgusting and degrading’ circumstances

CSL ghouls at it again

Australia’s $142 billion biotechnology company was the subject of a controversial report by Credit Suisse’s environmental, social and governance team.

CSL = Commonwealth Serum Laboratories.

Don’t ever forget what the CSL did to recipients of blood contaminated with deadly viruses.

Read the articles in The Australian Financial Review and The Sydney Morning Herald:

CSL on the defence over migrant plasma donors

CSL’s blood payments in the US under the microscope