Fa­tal health­care lapses

Joondalup Times - - WANNEROO LINK - Jes­sica War­riner

THIR­TEEN pa­tients died and 32 suf­fered se­ri­ous harm in the past year due to health­care re­ceived from the North Metropoli­tan Health Ser­vice (NMHS), the board’s first re­port has re­vealed.

Board chair Pro­fes­sor Bryant Stokes said there were sev­eral un­ex­pected sui­cides from men­tal health pa­tients and other cases were a fail­ure to recog­nise sig­nif­i­cant co-mor­bidi­ties.

“It’s of­ten ig­nor­ing what a pa­tient is say­ing, and that’s why the voice of the pa­tient is so, so im­por­tant,” he said.

“Peo­ple tend to want to hide be­hind things, but things go wrong, there’s no ques­tion about that.

“Ev­ery time we have an is­sue like this, we do learn from it and put pro­cesses in place to hope­fully stop it hap­pen­ing again.”

Prof Stokes said re­ports were pre­vi­ously done cen­trally in the health depart­ment and wrapped up in­for­ma­tion from across Perth.

“For the first time, there’s been ac­knowl­edge­ment of some com­pli­ca­tions that have arisen dur­ing pa­tient treat­ment in our ser­vice,” he said.

The NMHS man­ages ser­vices in­clud­ing Sir Charles Gaird­ner Hos­pi­tal, King Ed­ward Me­mo­rial Hos­pi­tal, Gray­lands Hos­pi­tal, Os­borne Park Hos­pi­tal, Joon­dalup Health Cam­pus, the state den­tal ser­vice and Path­west, the State’s pub­lic pathol­ogy provider.

Is­sues within the emer­gency de­part­ments are ap­par­ent in the re­port; while cat­e­gory 5 pa­tients are seen in the rec­om­mended time and cat­e­gory 1 pa­tients are close to 100 per cent on tar­get, cat­e­gories 2 to 4 are fall­ing be­hind.

Prof Stokes said the NMHS was chang­ing the way pa­tients are triaged.

“The other thing that’s oc­cur­ring is staff are get­ting con­fronted all the time by vi­o­lence; it’s a worry with peo­ple on drugs,” he said.

“Their strength is ex­tra­or­di­nary, and that’s adding to stop­ping a depart­ment run­ning smoothly.”

Prof Stokes said a key aim of the board was look­ing at how to pro­vide ser­vices closer to where peo­ple lived.

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