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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: Week 9 Hansard (18 August) . . Page.. 3849..


MS GALLAGHER (continuing):

government and that was the reason the decision was taken not to reappoint Ms Hinton. The decision was not based solely on the fact of the child protection review.

Mrs Dunne: Oh, solely. So there were other deficiencies.

MS GALLAGHER: That was the question yesterday, Mrs Dunne, if you do not like it. The question yesterday alleged that Ms Hinton was not reappointed because of the child protection review. I did not say that that was not a factor in the consideration. In fact, you have just read out some very articulate quotes by me and the Chief Minister relating to that, but the issue about the appointment of a chief executive takes into account a number of considerations. They were considered. A decision was made not to reappoint her.

MR CORNWELL I have a supplementary question, Mr Speaker. If, therefore, the information you provided to the Assembly yesterday was correct, why did you mislead the Canberra Times on 7 August?

MS GALLAGHER: I have not misled the Canberra Times and I have not misled the Assembly. Both answers are consistent. I have explained it in my answer to the first question.

Calvary Hospital-patient treatment

MRS CROSS: My question is to the Acting Minister for Health. You will probably have to take this on notice. The aunt of a constituent of mine was admitted to Calvary Hospital on 19 July with liver failure. Her condition deteriorated rapidly and she died on 23 July. As the aunt's condition declined and it was apparent she was going to die, the family remained vigilant by her side all night. On her final night, the nurses came in to turn and change her while the family waited outside. When the constituent returned to the room the nurse asked her who she was and what she was doing there. As she approached her aunt, she realised her aunt had passed away, so she immediately called her family in.

They were all very distressed because they were not there when the aunt had died. The nurse told them that any movement close to death could end a person's life. They were alarmed to hear this and asked the nurse why they had come in to turn her in the first place, knowing what the possible consequence might be. A doctor was called in and pronounced the aunt dead a few minutes later. The doctor treated the aunt's body roughly and insensitively, exposing her body in the presence of the family, which caused them great distress and, in their opinion, offended against dignity. He proceeded to ask questions about her illness, as he did not have any notes.

Minister, could you look into this case with a view to ascertaining whether the sort of behaviour and attitude experienced by this family at Calvary Hospital on the night of their aunt's death is typical of the palliative care provided there and, if it is, take steps to ensure that it changes so that the grief people suffer is not made worse by an absence of compassion amongst staff?

MR WOOD: I am sorry for the family and for the death of a loved member of that family. It is always a difficult time, so I feel for them as I feel for others in similar circumstances. I do not have intimate knowledge of Calvary Hospital. I have the general


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