Human Rights Review Tribunal, NZHRRT023/14, (26 August 2014)
The Director of Proceedings laid a claim against Southern District Health Board (SDHB) and audiologist, Simon Tregonning, in the Human Rights Review Tribunal for breaches of the Code in relation to care provided over a period of 10 years to a profoundly deaf child. The matter was able to proceed by way of negotiated agreement.
Master A's parents consulted Mr Tregonning at SDHB when Master A was two years old for problems related to his hearing. Mr Tregonning did not diagnose Master A with hearing loss at the time. Master A continued to have hearing difficulties which were observed by his school teachers and parents. For that reason he continued to consult with Mr Tregonning over a period of ten years (until he was 12 years old) and five consultations. On each of these consultations Mr Tregonning failed to diagnose Master A with hearing loss below normal range. Eventually Master A was seen by a visiting audiologist to SDHB who diagnosed Master A with severe hearing loss in both ears. Master A had experienced his entire school life unable to learn properly due to hearing loss and unable to fully engage in social activities. As a result Master A experienced ongoing learning difficulties and developmental setbacks.
The Tribunal found that Mr Tregonning did not provide Master A with services of reasonable standard and skill and thereby breached Right 4(1) of the Code. Furthermore, Mr Tregonning did not comply with professional standards and thereby breached Right 4(2) of the Code. SDHB accepted that it was vicariously liable for Mr Tregonning's breaches of the Code as he was an employee of the district health board during the relevant period.
Last reviewed February 2019