Hawke's Bay rest home in breach of health code after woman dies in hospital

A rest home was found to be in breach of the health code after a woman was transferred to hospital and later died.
A rest home was found to be in breach of the health code after a woman was transferred to hospital and later died.

A Hawke's Bay rest home breached the health code when they failed to provide appropriate care for a woman with a deteriorating skin condition who later died in hospital, the deputy health and disability commissioner has found.

The then 77-year-old woman had a type of lymphoma which begins as itchy, scaly patches on the skin and eventually tumours. She also had lung cancer.

Requiring hospital-level rest home care, she moved into Gracelands Lifestyle Care and Village in Hastings, owned by Oceania Care Company Ltd.

The woman's skin condition began to get worse and she experienced increasing pain. She had a pain care plan, but it was not updated in response to her changing condition.

The woman's GP was notified about the increased pain a few days later, and that afternoon her pain management plan was amended.

The GP reviewed the woman the following day and she was admitted to hospital, where she died days later.

Deputy Health and Disability Commissioner Rose Wall said the rest home failed to provide services to the woman with reasonable care and skill.

She recommended that the rest home arrange for further staff training regarding pain management and apologise to the family.

General manager of aged care for the Oceania Care Company Ltd, Barbara Sangster, said the incident happened more than two years ago and since then the company had implemented a number of changes.

"We improved all of our systems and these have been approved by the commissioner with evidence."

They received a four year certification period from the Minister of Health, which she said was a good result for aged care.

"We have also since won awards for people's choice and we have had no complaints from any residents."

"We are obviously deeply regretful for what happened and we have apologised to the family."

- NZ Herald

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