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Health and Disability Commissioner report inadequate continuity of services for patient transfer

Waikato DHB takes responsibility and unreservedly apologises for the breach of the Health and Disability Code and inadequacies in the care of a 58-year-old man, as outlined in the Health and Disability Commission report released today. He died on 18 December 2012.

Executive director of Waikato Hospital Services Brett Paradine said that since the report was released, urgent work has begun to address the HDC recommendations. “However we never lose sight of the fact that improvements to our systems and processes have come about through a distressing experience for his family.

“I am committed to making sure the lessons we have learned are embedded in our organisation. We are putting audits and checks in place in the critical area of transfer of care to prevent this happening again.”

The case involved a 58-year-old man, who was transferred from Waikato DHB to ABI Rehabilitiation New Zealand Ltd. The Health and Disability Commission report found that Waikato DHB had breached the code in that it did not ensure adequate quality and continuity of services for this man.

Among the actions already taken by Waikato DHB as a result are:

  • The pre transfer checklist for major trauma patients being transferred to other providers and/or facilities has been reviewed. This checklist includes key points that must be in place prior to transfer of a patient to a new facility or provider and also documentation of the verbal handover given to the receiving team.
  • The standard for the provision of information on the discharge summary of a major trauma patient has also been reviewed and audited to ensure compliance with the agreed standard.

Clarification on the role, responsibility and coverage of RMOs who are relieving within the Trauma Service and the level of support able to be expected, is currently

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