Hornsby hospi­tal tragedy: pa­tients speak out In­ves­ti­ga­tion now un­der­way

Monthly Chronicle - - News - Jenny Bar­lass

The death of a five year-old boy just ten hours af­ter he vis­ited Hornsby Ku-ring-gai Hospi­tal’s emer­gency depart­ment has di­vided opin­ion on the hospi­tal, over treat­ment they re­ceived.

The Wahroonga boy who has not been named, was taken there in early Septem­ber af­ter he’d com­plained to his par­ents of stom­ach pains.

Af­ter spend­ing four hours at the hospi­tal the boy passed a stool and felt bet­ter. He was then sent home around 7pm, his par­ents told to mon­i­tor him.

But the child de­te­ri­o­rated quickly and they rushed him to The Syd­ney Ad­ven­tist Hospi­tal in Wahroonga around 2.15am. He passed away two hours later.

The case is now be­fore the NSW Coroner and while pend­ing, a lo­cal area health spokesper­son said they could not com­ment. In a state­ment a North Syd­ney Lo­cal Health Dis­trict spokesper­son said: “Our deep­est sym­pa­thies are ex­tended to the fam­ily and friends of this lit­tle boy for their tragic loss.

“The NSW Chief Pae­di­a­tri­cian will pro­vide ex­ter­nal over­sight and in­put into a thor­ough re­view of the cir­cum­stances around the child’s death. This is now also a mat­ter for the Coroner.”

Read­ers have posted on the Monthly Chron­i­cle’s Face­book page, mostly de­fend­ing the Hospi­tal.

In the af­ter­math of the tragedy, NSW Health Min­is­ter Brad Haz­zard has asked for a re­port from the North­ern Syd­ney Lo­cal Health Dis­trict, while Shadow Health Min­is­ter Walt Secord has called for an in­de­pen­dent in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the Hospi­tal re­sourc­ing.

Secord said that since the state bud­get, he’d spo­ken to “an­gry doc­tors” who said the $200 mil­lion the hospi­tal re­ceived in the bud­get was $50 mil­lion less than what they’d been promised.

"Hornsby Ku-ring-gai Hospi­tal lurches from cri­sis to cri­sis,” he said. “Doc­tors, nurses and al­lied health work­ers say they’re work­ing with one arm tied be­hind their backs due to the lack of the much-needed up­grade.

“Peo­ple are send­ing me mes­sages cat­a­loging their bad ex­pe­ri­ences there. We need an ur­gent in­de­pen­dent re­view to as­cer­tain whether this boy’s death was re­sourc­ing or staffing is­sues or both.”

But in an ex­change be­tween the two politi­cians dur­ing state par­lia­ment’s bud­getary es­ti­mates, Mr Haz­zard told the House: “Stage one ($121 mil­lion) was com­pleted and opened in the last 12 months. Stage two is an­other $200 mil­lion. The doc­tors were all con­sulted in the clin­i­cal ser­vices plan. They signed off on the clin­i­cal ser­vices plan, and Health In­fra­struc­ture is cur­rently work­ing its way through the mas­ter plan­ning for the project. The Gov­ern­ment is ac­tu­ally de­liv­er­ing, ef­fec­tively, a new Hornsby hospi­tal. I think the cur­rent Gov­ern­ment is do­ing ev­ery­thing we can hu­manly do.”

Un­der pres­sure: Hornsby Ku-ring-gai Hospi­tal

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