The Courier-Mail

CI­LENTO BUN­GLE: SICKLY TRUTH

Hos­pi­tal’s damn­ing di­ag­no­sis

- JANELLE MILES JACKIE SINNERTON Health · Medicine · Society · Ernst & Young · Cameron Dick · Annastacia Palaszczuk · Queensland Health · Mater Health Services

DIS­TURB­ING blun­ders dur­ing the open­ing of the $1.5 bil­lion Lady Ci­lento Chil­dren’s Hos­pi­tal will to­day be ex­posed in a damn­ing re­view.

The Courier-Mail un­der­stands the re­port will high­light staff con­cerns over pa­tient safety and in­suf­fi­cient time for train­ing, raised in­ter­nally be­fore the flag­ship hos­pi­tal’s trou­bled Novem­ber open­ing.

The find­ings are ex­pected to be so dire some se­nior doc­tors will push for the hos­pi­tal to be re­named in the wake of the re­port, to al­low for a fresh start.

Health Min­is­ter Cameron Dick, who com­mis­sioned the probe in April, will ad­dress de­mor­alised hos­pi­tal staff at 9.30am on the find­ings, which are also ex­pected to in­clude crit­i­cism of crit­i­cal staff short­ages in the pae­di­atric in­ten­sive-care unit.

Chil­dren’s Health Queens­land board chair Su­san John­ston re­signed last week af­ter see­ing a copy of the re­view, while Premier An­nasta­cia Palaszczuk said she found as­pects of the re­port “con­cern­ing” af­ter a Cab­i­net brief­ing on Mon­day.

Some se­nior hos­pi­tal fig­ures say Ms John­ston has been made a scape­goat for prob­lems that have emerged since the open­ing, in­clud­ing dif­fi­cul­ties with amal­ga­mat­ing vastly di­ver­gent cul­tures from the two pre­vi­ous hos­pi­tals.

The for­mer board chair is un­der­stood to be dis­traught over crit­i­cisms of mis­takes made in the rush to open the hos­pi­tal, a merger be­tween the Royal Chil­dren’s and Mater Chil­dren’s public hos­pi­tals.

The Courier-Mail re­vealed a litany of prob­lems dur­ing the hos­pi­tal’s open­ing, in­clud­ing hir­ing de­lays, staff short­ages, and in­for­ma­tion tech­nol­ogy is­sues caus­ing headaches with pa­tient records.

It is un­der­stood months of trou­ble has taken a heavy toll on staff, with some de­cid­ing to re­sign amid the tur­moil.

THE bun­gled open­ing of the $1.5 bil­lion Lady Ci­lento Chil­dren's Hos­pi­tal will be ex­posed in a damn­ing re­view re­leased to­day.

The State’s flag­ship chil­dren’s hos­pi­tal has been plagued by prob­lems high­lighted by The Courier-Mail – in­clud­ing chronic staff short­ages, train­ing hold-ups and lim­ited ac­cess to pa­tient records – since it opened in Novem­ber.

To­day at 9.30am Health Min­is­ter Cameron Dick, who com­mis­sioned the probe in April, will ad­dress de­mor­alised staff on the find­ings of the re­view, which will high­light key staff con­cerns raised be­fore the open­ing and dur­ing its early weeks of op­er­a­tion.

The find­ings are a closely guarded se­cret with the Palaszczuk Gov­ern­ment want­ing to en­sure the hos­pi­tal’s em­ploy­ees are in­formed be­fore the doc­u­ment is made public.

How­ever, The Courier-Mail un­der­stands the re­view will ad­dress is­sues raised by staff in the days be­fore the flag­ship hos­pi­tal opened, in­clud­ing fears for pa­tient safety and that there was not suf­fi­cient time to re­ceive ad­e­quate train­ing in the new hos­pi­tal.

Crit­i­cal staff short­ages in the pae­di­atric in­ten­sive care unit and the hos­pi­tal’s trou­bled in­for­ma­tion tech­nol­ogy sys­tem, which al­lows health work­ers ac­cess to pa­tient records, are ex­pected to be ad­dressed in the re­view.

Both re­main a con­cern for the hos­pi­tal.

Chil­dren’s Health Queens­land board chair, lawyer Su­san John­ston, re­signed last week af­ter see­ing a copy of the re­port with some se­nior hos­pi­tal fig­ures say­ing she has been made a scape­goat.

The for­mer board chair is un­der­stood to be dis­traught over crit­i­cisms of mis­takes made in the rush to open the Lady Ci­lento hos­pi­tal, a merg- er be­tween the Royal Chil­dren’s and Mater Chil­dren’s public hos­pi­tals.

Ms John­ston’s deputy Jane Ya­copetti has taken over as act­ing board chair un­til the Gov­ern­ment can ap­point a re­place­ment for Ms John­ston.

The Courier-Mail un­der­stands se­nior doc­tors will push for the hos­pi­tal to be re­named in the wake of the re­view, to al­low for a fresh start.

Af­ter Cab­i­net was briefed on the re­view’s find­ings on Mon­day, Premier An­nasta­cia Palaszczuk said she found as­pects of the re­port “con­cern­ing” but paid trib­ute to hos­pi­tal staff for their hard work.

Chil­dren’s Health Queens­land ex­ec­u­tives say the de­ci­sion to open the Lady Ci­lento hos­pi­tal al­most nine months ago was nec­es­sary be­cause the Royal Chil­dren’s and the Mater Chil­dren’s were both los­ing nurs­ing staff be­fore the merger, mak­ing them po­ten­tial safety risks.

De­lays in open­ing the Lady Ci­lento hos­pi­tal would also have proved costly for the tax­payer, with Mater Health Ser­vices ex­pected to bill Queens­land Health for hav­ing to keep the Mater Chil­dren’s open for public pa­tients past the con­tracted date for its clo­sure.

The hos­pi­tal’s CEO Fion­nagh Dougan was briefed on the con­tents of the re­port yesterday.

Debora Pi­cone, the Aus­tralian Com­mis­sion on Safety and Qual­ity in Health Care chief, led the re­view, and was

sup­ported by Coun­cil on the Ag­ing CEO Mark Tuck­erE­vans and Ernst and Young’s David Roberts.

In an email yesterday, Ms Dougan in­vited staff to at­tend a spe­cial brief­ing at the hos­pi­tal be­tween 9.30am and 10.30am to­day.

She said Ms Pi­cone and Mr Tucker-Evans would present their find­ings and take ques­tions. Mr Dick would ad­dress staff at the con­clu­sion of the brief­ing.

The Health Min­is­ter has said the re­view was nec­es­sary “so lessons could be learned and sim­i­lar prob­lems avoided for fu­ture projects”.

An ear­lier board-or­dered re­port into the first two weeks of the hos­pi­tal’s open­ing, re­leased in March, found some level of dys­func­tion, in­clud­ing “sev­eral cases where the risk of a se­ri­ous safety event was averted”. But no sig­nif­i­cant case of harm was found.

Ms John­ston has stood by the tim­ing of the hos­pi­tal’s open­ing.

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 ??  ?? SCAPE­GOAT: For­mer Chil­dren’s Health Queens­land board chair Su­san John­ston; (left) Cameron Dick and hos­pi­tal CEO Fion­nagh Dougan will brief staff on the re­port this morn­ing.
SCAPE­GOAT: For­mer Chil­dren’s Health Queens­land board chair Su­san John­ston; (left) Cameron Dick and hos­pi­tal CEO Fion­nagh Dougan will brief staff on the re­port this morn­ing.

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