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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2014 Week 10 Hansard (25 September) . .

Page.. 3240..


previous questions the minister raised the prospect of a certain number of people losing their jobs and I think that it is reasonable to ask whether the other people in the equation are also at risk of losing their jobs. Minister Burch.

MS BURCH: I will continue to do all I can to make sure all of these people keep their jobs and continue to support the schools in which they work.

Canberra Hospital—inpatient care

MS LAWDER: My question is to the Minister for Health. Minister, following on from yesterday's question relating to a patient at Canberra Hospital, recently my elderly mother-in-law was taken to the Canberra Hospital by ambulance after a serious fall. She had hip replacement surgery and also had a broken shoulder.

Within a few days of the surgery, with her complaints of burning heels and sore toes ignored, she developed serious bedsores. Being an insulin-dependent diabetic, her dietary requirements were often ignored, and insulin was often not given to her when she needed it before meals. Due to her broken shoulder, she was unable to open containers or feed herself, let alone cut up food, so family had to be present at meal times. She could rarely get help from the nurses for this.

A nurse took photos of her bedsores and told her that she would make an official complaint on her behalf, but she never heard anything more on this.

Opposite her was an elderly man who had accidents with bedwetting, usually because there was such a long delay between him pressing the buzzer for assistance and someone arriving to help. On one occasion when I arrived to visit her, this man had wet his pyjama bottoms and they were removed, but he was left in the bed naked from the waist down and had been lying there for hours, curtains open, given no dignity.

On numerous occasions, my mother-in-law was also left lying in bed, unable to get up to go to the toilet for hours, despite ringing the bell, but was told there were not enough staff to help her.

In summary, these occurrences are not isolated incidents. Minister, why have you allowed these systemic problems with lack of nursing staff to develop within the health system?

MS GALLAGHER: I thank Ms Lawder for the question and I do hope that she and her family are pursuing the issues that she has raised here today with the Canberra Hospital if they have continuing concerns about the level of care that was provided to Ms Lawder's mother-in-law.

In 2013-14, Canberra Hospital had a total of 243,432 bed days, of which 201,855 were overnight bed days. For the last 12 months, we have received 4,656 pieces of feedback around patient care. This comprised 3,247 compliments and 1,409 comments and complaints. Compared to the figures for the same period in the year before, it is a 17 per cent increase in feedback overall, a 34 per cent increase in compliments and a nine per cent reduction in complaints over that time.


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