Nurses found at fault in their care of Josephine Wells will undertake a re-education programme.

The Waitemata District Health Board's chief operating officer, Alan Wilson, has told Mrs Wells: "... the care provided to you ... was below the standard of care that we would expect to provide".

In a five-page letter, he said blood on the floor outside her room should have been cleaned up; staff comments about use of the call bell were inappropriate; the Heimlich air drain in her back was managed incorrectly by staff who had not used one before
and should have sought help; and doctors and nurses had been "reminded of their responsibility" over pain management.

Plans were in place to raise standards in the emergency care centre.

"A significant communication and education process is planned to address not just the clinical issue of the Heimlich drain but also expectations about good customer service, including listening to patients."

Chief medical officer Dr Andrew Brant said the nurses "involved in the complaint" must now go through a performance review and competency assessment. These would cover, depending on each nurse's lapses, patient service, chest drain management, critical thinking skills and pain management.

He said Mr Wilson had told emergency nurses the hospital would no longer accept the kind of service given to Mrs Wells.