"Patient neglect during respite"

About: BaptistCare Maranoa Centre

(as a relative),

My father went into respite at Baptist Care Maronoa Centre, Alstonville, for two weeks and this is my story.

Prior to going to Maronoa, Dad was walking independently with a four wheel walker. He required assistance with personal care. He was able to feed and drink independently. He walked his small dog every day with the assistance of a community care worker. Dad did have increasing vascular dementia.

My mother and sister went to visit dad one day around 2pm and found him slumped in a chair at the dining table asleep. My sister woke him and as she was unable to locate a staff member to take him back to his bed she managed alone to take him back to his room and put him into bed. Dad complained of pain so again she looked for a staff member to ask about pain relief. The RN was not available at that time so she was given a small post it note to write a note for her and placed it on the office door.

The following day my mother and another sister visited dad around 4pm and found him in bed shivering in a saturated bed of urine. My mother and sister, who is a health care professional at a large hospital, were horrified. Dad was saturated from his feet to his shoulders, yellow stains from where the urine had dried on his sheets were an indication to her as to how long dad had been lying in this condition. My sister commenced helping my father when a staff member came in to take over from her.

On another occasion my father had a fall during the night. Dad does not remember that he needs to press a buzzer for help but does call out for someone to help him and on this occasion he got out of bed to go to the bathroom and had a fall.

The facility had no alarm devices in his room and were aware of Dad's mental and physical capacity.

These devices were in place on previous respite stays.

I was contacted the following morning and was told about the fall and that Dad had some pain in his back.

The staff member advised me a doctor was coming into the facility around lunch time to see another resident and they would ask him to check Dad over.

The outcome was dad had no physical injuries and was given pain relief. He was not given an x-ray.

When Dad came home from respite, he was picked up by two of my brothers and when he arrived home I was horrified to find him in such a frail condition. He was unable to communicate, hold cutlery to feed himself, hold a glass to drink, stand or manage his own weight and was in a lot of pain. He is of small build and light in weight. He was such a dead weight that I struggled to move him.

When I changed dad into his pyjamas for bed I found he had a lot of bruising on his left elbow and arm, an untreated skin tear on his lower left leg and excruciating pain behind his left shoulder blade. I took him to his GP the next morning and he was redirected to emergency via ambulance. Dad had severe pneumonia, fractured ribs and torn muscle or tendon behind his left shoulder blade. He was admitted to hospital where he remained until he was well enough to be transferred to Transition care where he remained for 12 weeks for rehabilitation.

Responses

Response from Paull English, General Manager Residential Care Services, BaptistCare NSW & ACT

BaptistCare acknowledges the severity and gravity of the comments made. We note the matter occurred in late 2016 and was investigated by the Aged Care Complaints Commission at the time. BaptistCare cooperated fully with the Commission’s investigation and was in communication with the family concerned.

“Following a range of remedial actions from the BaptistCare team, the complaint was closed by the Aged Care Complaints Commission in early 2017.

We apologise for the ongoing distress this matter has caused, and invite the person and family to contact us if they wish on (02) 9023 2500.

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