Human Rights Review Tribunal (2009) Ltd NZHRRT 14/28, (17 June 2014)
The Director of Proceedings laid a claim against Killarney Rest Home Ltd before the Human Rights Review Tribunal for the care provided to an elderly patient with advanced dementia. The matter was able to proceed by way of negotiated agreement and the Tribunal issued a declaration that Killarney Rest Home Ltd had breached the patient’s rights under the Code, to have services provided that comply with professional standards (Right 4(2)) and to have services provided with reasonable care and skill (Right 4(1)).
On admission to Killarney Rest Home the patient was inadequately assessed. No detailed history was obtained and neither a care plan nor falls risk assessment was completed. The patient experienced a series of falls during her stay at the rest home. The first fall on 10 July 2011 required hospital admission. Subsequent falls occurred on 24 July, 2 August and 3 August 2011. No falls risk assessment was completed after any of these falls and no plan was implemented to address the issue of falls.
After the fall on 3 August 2011 the patient was experiencing pain in her left hip area. The registered nurse assessed her but found no injury. Despite the patient being unable to mobilise by the end of the day on 4 August 2011 the nurse did not arrange a visit with the general practitioner. The following day another nurse who had been advised of the patient’s fall assessed the patient but made no record of her assessment. Between 5 August and 9 August the patient was unable to walk and was in a lot of pain yet no general practitioner assessment was requested. The patient’s family and power of attorney were not informed of any of the falls.
On 9 August the initial registered nurse reviewed the patient and found her to be very distressed and unable to walk. The patient was then transferred to Tauranga Hospital where she was found to have fractured her hip.
Killarney Rest Home accepted that it was responsible to ensure its staff carried out appropriate assessments, closely monitored the patient’s health, and communicated with the patient’s power of attorney or family members. The care provided did not meet the required standards and accordingly the rest home did not provide services to the patient with reasonable care and skill.
The Tribunal’s full decision can be found at http://www.nzlii.org/nz/cases/NZHRRT/2014/28.html