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Rest Home Fails To Cooperate With Investigation

Deputy Health and Disability Commissioner Rose Wall today released a report finding a rest home in breach of the Code of Health and Disability Services Consumers’ Rights (the Code) for failures in its care of an elderly man.

The man had a complex medical history and was a resident at Armourdene Rest Home (Armourdene), owned by Wilding International Limited.

Early one morning the man had an unwitnessed fall in his room. A caregiver called the on-call registered nurse and monitored the man. Later that morning another caregiver called the on-call registered nurse and the man was transferred to hospital. He was diagnosed with a fractured hip, and sadly he died a few days later.

The man’s sister-in-law was concerned about many aspects of the care he received at Armourdene, including the management of his fall, and made a complaint to HDC.

Despite multiple requests from HDC to Armourdene to provide its policies and procedures, statements from staff and the man’s clinical records, Armourdene did not provide the information and did not provide a reasonable explanation for doing so.

The Deputy Commissioner considered that the concerns raised by the man’s sister-in-law were serious and appeared to be in breach of the Code. However, because Armourdene did not provide information that was crucial to the investigation, she was unable to determine whether or not Armourdene had provided appropriate care.

"Because not all of the relevant information has been provided, it is not possible to determine whether the care provided to the man at Amourdene was appropriate," said Ms Wall.

"As a result, the focus of this report is on Armourdene’s limited participation and lack of cooperation with HDC’s investigation process," she said.

Ms Wall found that Armourdene had undermined and frustrated the investigation process, and that as a result, Armourdene had breached the Code. Under the Code, every provider must facilitate the fair, simple, speedy, and efficient resolution of a complaint.

Wilding International Limited has been referred to the Director of Proceedings to decide whether any proceedings should be taken. The Director has filed proceedings in the Human Rights Review Tribunal.

Copies of the report will also be sent to the Office of the Coroner, the DHB, HealthCERT, the Health Quality and Safety Commission, and the New Zealand Aged Care Association.

The full report on case 18HDC01769 is available on the HDC website.

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