SUBJECT: CDHB Responds to HDC Report
Canterbury District Health Board (CDHB) will again apologise to the partner and parents of Dean Carroll and continue to provide updates on improvements made to Christchurch Hospital’s Emergency Department to the Health and Disability Commissioner, following today’s release of the HDC report on the death of Mr Carroll.
Dean Carroll attended Christchurch Hospital’s ED on Friday 13 April 2007 and died at home the following morning
“We have already formally apologised to the Carroll family but will certainly do so again at the request of the HDC. We acknowledge that we are responsible for the care we provide to patients and are sincerely sorry that our processes did not result in Mr Carroll’s condition being diagnosed,” Mark Leggett, CDHB’s General Manager Medical and Surgical Services said.
“The Report also acknowledges the difficulty of diagnosing Mr Carroll’s illness – a rare disease that presented in an unusual way and then progressed in an uncharacteristic fashion.”
Since Mr Carroll’s death much has been done to improve systems and processes in the Emergency Department including Board support for a $4.84 million refurbishment and extension of the Department. The upgrade has increased the size of the department by a third and the number of beds from 39 to 55. Funding has also been made available to significantly increase the number of staff including ED consultants and nurses.
These changes were inspired by an Independent Review of the Department that was commissioned by Canterbury DHB after Mr Carroll’s death. Other improvements have included an upgraded waiting room, improved assessment times for ambulatory patients, improved wait times for patients and inservice education for doctors on the assessment of patients with back pain.
“We wanted to find out what circumstances could have contributed to Dean’s death and make any necessary improvements to the ED and our hospital systems in general,” Mr Leggett said. “In the report today, the HDC acknowledges the approach that we took and the enormous amount of work that has been done to improve our services. The work that we are doing is not just about the ED but patients’ experiences through the entire hospital.”
Project RED ( Rejuvenating the Emergency Department) has also been underway at Christchurch Hospital – a clinician led and Board supported programme of work that will continue to look at improvements that can be made to the Department.