Source: MIL-OSI Submissions
Source: Health and Disability Commissioner
Deputy Health and Disability Commissioner Rose Wall today released a report finding a rest home in breach of the Code of Health and Disability Services Consumers’ Rights (the Code) after a woman suffered serious injuries in their care in 2018.
The woman, who had an intellectual disability and limited communication skills, was a resident at Radius Elloughton Gardens in Timaru which is operated by Radius Residential Care Limited (Radius).
Sometime during the night or the next morning, the woman suffered a right shoulder dislocation and fractures on the two bones of her lower left leg. These injuries were most likely the result of falling. Despite the injuries being discovered in the morning, an ambulance was not called until the afternoon. Sadly, she subsequently passed away.
As she was not able to get in and out of bed by herself, it was most likely that a staff member was with her when the injuries occurred. However, Radius was unable to establish how the injuries happened.
All staff denied having any knowledge of how the woman sustained her injuries and multiple inconsistent recollections were provided to Radius about the events. There was also no documentation for the time period the fall was likely to have happened.
The Deputy Commissioner found that Radius did not provide appropriate care and services to the woman and it is likely that at least one of its staff members was involved in the events surrounding the injury.
“The woman concerned was particularly vulnerable and she relied heavily on Radius Elloughton Gardens to provide her with an appropriate standard of care and keep her safe,” Ms Wall said.
“Significant systems issues were present at the rest home which in my opinion compromised the quality of the care provided to her.
“Staff failed to adhere to Radius’s policies, there was a delay in getting the woman to hospital, a pattern of poor documentation by its staff members, and the training provided to its nursing staff was inadequate.
“This report highlights the importance of having a culture that encourages staff to speak up, ensuring that staff follow policy, and of clear and accurate documentation,” she said.
Ms Wall’s recommendations include that Radius undertake a review of all current individual staff training records; conduct random audits of staff compliance with its policies; and provide the woman’s family with an apology. She also recommended they provide HDC with an update on its consideration of the external investigator’s recommendation that CCTV be installed.
Ms Wall also referred Radius Residential Care Limited to the Director of Proceedings who will decide whether any proceedings should be taken.
The full report on case 19HDC00525 is available on the HDC website.