Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Last week I had this letter published in a local paper

"I was not surprised to hear about the lack of security in RNSH’s Morgue and no that I.D.’s being asked for when bodies were removed.

When our eldest daughter went to RNSH some time after my husband Don’s death (May 2007), I had phoned the X ray dept the day before (from Port Macquarie) to say she was coming to pick up the records. These records were very important for us to see as there were about 50plus X rays and CT scans. We had previously written and asked for and were given permission to access and receive his all records, due to the nature of his death and time spent in RNSH, but the X rays didn’t turn up.

When she went to pick up the records at RNSH she just said her name and they were all handed over - no ID at all. She was quite surprised and alarmed. I could have been anyone ringing in and she could have been anyone picking up original records. Those very important original records could have just disappeared into thin air had somebody wished them to and perhaps it hasn’t happened but it is extremely likely it could happen.

Not good enough again RNSH. RNSH has far too many “Human errors” and not enough accountability. We have to hope that this is not a state wide problem."

But today this story broke - I am still shockable even though I think I have seen and experienced the worst suffering possible - my heart breaks for this family.

Body 'forgotten' at Royal North Shore Hospital

  • Body moved from morgue for family viewing
  • Worker forgot to take it back again
  • Found days later because of bad smell

HOSPITAL staff checking on a bad smell have discovered a body left to rot after being forgotten about for four days.

The man's body had been moved from the morgue in Sydney's Royal North Shore Hospital to another room to allow his family a viewing, but a morgue worker forgot to return it afterwards.

The viewing took place on a Friday. The body was found on the following Tuesday.

The man's brother has told the Sydney Morning Herald he was contacted by the hospital when the terrible mistake was noticed.

''They told us he had been left out of the freezer and I can't say we were terribly happy about it,'' he told the paper.

He said he was keeping the grim news to himself because it would too distressing to other family members.

The ABC quoted a hospital spokesman as blaming the incident on "individual human error".

The spokesman said staff had been strongly reminded of correct procedures when handling dead patients.

New South Wales law prevented corpses from being left unrefrigerated for more than eight hours when being viewed by next of kin."

This is the bastard of a place I have been working hard to expose after they collectivelly through "human errors" tortured and then killed my husband, along with too many other people. All they keep saying is "Human error" and then nothing changes because no one cares enough.

Whatever you do and whatever happens to you Do not ever go to Royal North Shore Hospital if living in or visiting Sydney - there is something terribly wrong inside that place. Its almost as if the building and culture inside that place seems to "infect" people working there -


FoxyMoron said...

Good on you Therese, keep fighting the good fight. I wonder what happened to Dad when he was there. He later died at the Mater.

What I don't get is, with all the stuff ups at RNSH that nothing seems to be getting done.

rosemary said...

Sadly, this is universals in hospitals...in the one where I worked, it was a premie baby that was tossed into the trash.

Anne said...

We had our issues with hospitals in the past - one was the situation with the hospital telling my mum (who needed 24 7 care ) that her daughters would take her home and look after her - we found out it was because they wanted the ward closed for Christmas! They told us mum was ok and had weeks maybe months ahead of her, two days later she passed away.

Wish I had your strength and guts to have done something about what happened to us. Different situation but still very hard.

Thanks for your comment - I do think there must be a guardian angel hovering over us:-)

Anonymous said...

Right so North Shore are so useless they can't even look after dead people now.

Sorry to hear about your husband's needless death. As a former patient I know where you are coming from with unbelievable incomeptence. I hope you took them to task with the health authorities over your husband's death.

I agree I'd be giving the place a wide berth in life and in death.

You are right there is something very wrong with this hospital.

Middle Child said...

Foxymoron and it never will with the government and system in place we have nowadays - no one is ever accountable for their own actions. The trouble I am having publishing my book is unbelievable - if it was about a bricklayer or something it'd be out there now - but the doctors are like God and they sue more of us than we do of them I know this as fact.

Rosemary - as shocking as that is I don't doubt but that it has happened more than once

Anne - what happens and why we don't act is that after a long illness and death the closest ones are emotionally and physically exhausted and in shock for some time - with Don it was so bad I couldn't control the anger I felt and had to do something for my own sanity. Don't beat yourself up - my own mum was done to death as well but I didn't fight that either.

You are right. I did take part in the Fred Nile RNSH Inquiry which was a whitewash - gave evidence there and also the Garling Inquiry
see evidence given here.


I gave evidence as The first witness "Therese" that day, when the Inquiry visited my home town i could no go back to RNSH and feel physically ill when I see in on TV. The beginning of my evidence is a little disjointed because I was highly stressed and emotional - but it became clearer a little way in. I am trying to have published a book exposing the five long weeks of his dreadful suffering - all unnecessary all caused by their filth and carelessness.
He had a horror of dying in that place - almost as if his soul might no escape - this from a very practical man. We got him home by air ambulance two hours before he died after they took away the ventilator - he is counted as a discharge not a hospital death -

Anonymous said...

Sad to read about your husband's poor treatment. Its good you gave evidence at the inquiry and at least tried to make them accountable.

You said earlier that there is something terribly wrong at north shore, sadley I agree. I wouldnt let anyone I knew go there under any circumstances.

I feel sorry for the good doctors working at north shore, because I'm sure there are some, and it must be a dreadful working environment. How can they not be affected by the culture of cover ups and poor standards at this hospital.

Bad things happen at lots of hospitals, but why is north shore in the press every second week? I cant think its all funding because that affects all hospitals.

The culture of who cares and covering up needs to change. North shore was once upon a time a well regarded hospital, sadly seems not much has chnaged since that commission inquiry.

You can only hope that with changes of management, a new focus on research, a new building that things will turn around to help restore the community's trust in this hospital.

JahTeh said...

My sister and I dreaded getting a nursing home for Mum after all the horrible stories we've heard but we hit the jackpot and she's well cared for and happy.
With all hospitals, there are too many chiefs and not enough indians.

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