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Mayoress concerned about patient confidentiality

Mayor 'lashes out' at ambulance staff

Last updated 13:27 20/08/2008
Mayoress Jane Williams

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Patient confidentiality concerns are being raised by North Shore mayoress Jane Williams after news was given to the media that her husband lashed out while being treated by ambulance staff.

Mayor Andrew Williams collapsed at a Devonport naval base function on Friday but was back at work on Tuesday.

Mrs Williams says her husband has a "Chinese lurgy" and is exhausted from a full-on 10-day trip to Korea and China in 40-degree heat.

During the weekend media reported that North Shore Hospital staff were overheard talking about the mayor having an altercation with the ambulance workers who treated him.

Mrs Williams says she found the reports "bizarre".

"It raises concerns about patient confidentiality.

"It’s a little disappointing that someone felt that they should put that out there.

"It was nothing he knew he was doing."

Because of his confusion when ambulance staff were bringing him around he "lashed out", says Mrs Williams.

"It was an unconscious reaction. He would not deliberately hit any
body."

Mrs Williams says the mayor spoke to St John’s staff at the weekend because he was "mortified" at the suggestion he’d had a run-in.

She says they told him it was not unusual for
someone to react in that manner and she’s seen similar situations as a nurse too.

St John says it has strict patient confidentiality protocol that its staff wouldn’t breach.

Mrs Williams says her husband became unwell the day before he left
China to come home and attended the navy function despite still feeling sick.

"I think he had a couple glasses of wine and didn’t realise how dehydrated he was," she says.

His blood pressure appears to have dropped suddenly and he collapsed.

Navy medics couldn’t rouse him and called for an ambulance.

There was early concern about possible cardiac arrest but that was later dismissed.

The health of mayors has been in the spotlight after Manukau mayor Len Brown collapsed of a heart attack at a function recently.

"Len was much worse but that goes through people’s minds are they having a heart atttack?"

Mrs Williams says she will be making sure her husband takes stock of
his workload and he may
need to cut down on the number of functions he attends.

She says she was called to North Shore Hospital where her husband was given two litres of fluid and oxygen for a couple of hours.

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He was discharged that night.

- North Shore Times

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