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Waikato DHB Accepts HDC Findings

Waikato DHB Accepts HDC Findings

Waikato District Health Board (DHB) has today accepted the findings of the Health and Disability Commissioner, which found the DHB was in breach of the Code of Health and Disability Services Consumers Rights when it cared for Linda Barlow [1] on Sunday 25 October 2009.

Chief operating officer Jan Adams said she had already met with Mrs Barlow and her husband Robert on Thursday 23 January this year to apologise for Waikato DHB’s breach of the Code and for the inadequacies in the care provided by the DHB.

At that meeting she provided the Barlows with a written apology.

“We accept the findings of the Health and Disability Commissioner,” said Mrs Adams.

“In my meeting with Mr and Mrs Barlow, we all took the opportunity to reflect on what happened, what we could learn from it and how we can take those learnings so we can provide quality care for women and their families.”

The Health and Disability Commissioner found there were other breaches of the Code before Mrs Barlow’s arrival at Waikato Hospital.

“While I can’t comment on those I will say Waikato DHB recognises the importance of working in close partnership with all health professionals locally and regionally with the aim of providing the very best care to our patients,” said Mrs Adams.

Waikato DHB has already made a number of changes because of the issues identified in Mrs Barlow’s treatment including the standardised use of the Situation Background Assessment Recommendation Response (SBARR) communication tool and use of transfer of care processes.

As a result of HDC’s recommendations, Waikato DHB will also:

• carry out an audit of compliance with its new Transfer of Care policy, Admission Discharge and Transfer policy, Maternity Transfer of Care procedure, cardiotocography (CTG) credentialing process and Fetal Heart Monitoring Passport and undertake to provide the Health and Disability Commissioner with the outcome of those audits by 5 May 2014.
• focus on CTG interpretation education as per the fetal heart monitoring passport, which includes both face to face and online CTG education.

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[1] The Health and Disability Commissioner released an anonymised report. Robert and Linda Barlow, named as Mrs A and Mr B have given permission for Waikato DHB to name them in any media releases made by Waikato DHB, the New Zealand College of Midwives and the New Zealand Committee of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians


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