Rest home failed woman who died

SARAH-JANE O'CONNOR
Last updated 17:01 17/03/2014

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A Christchurch rest home failed to adequately care for a woman, who later died in hospital.

In a report released today, Deputy Health and Disability Commissioner Theo Baker found Chrstchurch's Middlepark Rest Home and Village had poor communication, inadequate care of the woman, and inadequate documentation.

The woman, aged in her 80s,  had lived at the rest home since January 2008. In 2011 she became sick with a stomach bug and suffered vomiting and diarrhoea.

Two weeks after becoming sick, she was diagnosed with a Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) and was started on a course of antibiotics.

Over the space of the next few days, the woman had five falls but incident forms recorded incorrect information and were not signed off properly. 

Rest home staff discussed with each other that the woman required palliative care, though no conversations had been held with the family, her doctors or the woman herself.

The woman's family were aware that she was on antibiotics, but were not informed about the falls and her further deterioration. 

One of her daughters requested that her mother be admitted to hospital, where it was found the antibiotics were not working and she had developed a complication from the urinary infection. She died in hospital.

Baker said staff failed to follow communication and documentation procedures.

The rest home is operated by Oceania Group.

Chief executive Guy Eady said the organisation fully accepted the Commissioner's findings and was "deeply sorry for the family's loss".

"Our own investigation shows that our staff members were under pressure and exercised clouded judgement at an extremely testing time when they were trying to cope with the severe after-effcts and aftershocks of the Canterbury earthquakes."

Eady said changes had been made in line with the Commissioner's recommendations.

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- The Press

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