7 Aug 2012

Rest home that failed woman was 'let down' by nurse

1:45 pm on 7 August 2012

The owner of a rest home that failed to provide adequate care to an elderly woman, who died, says they were let down by a poorly-performing staff member.

Deputy Health and Disability Commissioner Tania Thomas says staff at Radius's Lester Heights Hospital in Whangarei did not ensure the fluid intake of the 84-year-old woman was monitored and she became seriously dehydrated and died.

She died four days later at a public hospital from problems related to dehydration, after the hospital failed to implement a fluid monitoring plan.

A report says an unnamed clinical nurse manager was responsible, along with Radius.

Radius chief executive Brien Cree says they have apologised and made changes. He says the clinical nurse manager has since been referred to the Nursing Council.

In her report, Ms Thomas says family members admitted the woman to Lester Heights from another rest home reluctantly, because she needed intensive care.

But the hospital's unnamed clinical nurse manager failed to complete an assessment and care plan, or to tell others about the need to monitor fluid.

The woman's daughter, who became alarmed, was refused when she asked for test results to show a doctor.

Ms Thomas says the nurse manager and rest-home owner failed in their duty of care.