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A report released today reveals that a rest home company has breached the Code of Health and Disability Services Consumers’ Rights for failure to take care of a man admitted for respite care.
The man, in his eighties, was admitted to the rest home. A nurse who is enrolled conducted the man’s initial assessment and prepared his care plan. Accordingly, the man’s documentation of baseline recordings and care plan that was being reviewed by a registered nurse was not taken.
The next morning when the man was admitted, he made complaints to a caregiver that he started having abdominal pains and he was unable to move; even refusing to eat at lunchtime. The caregiver, who was concerned consulted the rest home’s Clinical Manager and sole registered nurse about his strange refusal to go to lunch but didn’t mention the man’s abdominal pains.
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Later that same day, a registered nurse left the care home premises without reviewing the man.
The man’s daughter happened to visit him at the rest home during the afternoon finding him ‘very unwell’ — the man was taken to hospital by ambulance, while on the way to hospital ambulance staff found his vital signs to be abnormal.
Upon diagnosis of the man, he was found to have a perforation in his small intestine. The man passed away in the hospital the next day.
Deputy Commissioner Rose Wall says that the man’s care was inadequate, which included his admission to the rest home and the failure of staff to acknowledge and escalate his abdominal pains to a registered nurse. Other notes to take was the failure to confirm the man’s admission documentation and also not reviewing the man before leaving the premises.
“This case highlights the importance of aged care facilities ensuring that all new admissions are assessed by suitably skilled clinical staff in a timely manner,” said Ms Wall.
“The events… highlight how susceptible residents in aged care facilities are to a rapid deterioration in their condition. Both clinical and support staff need to think critically about a resident’s presenting symptoms, and provide the appropriate intervention, including escalating concerns and seeking medical intervention as warranted.”
Ms Wall recommended that the registered nurse undertakes further education on the subject of delegating responsibility to staff and give a formal apology to the family.
The full report for case 18HDC00217 is available on the HDC website.