To read on The Australian website:
Disabled woman’s death ‘raises serious issues’ in NSW healthcare
Simone Fox Koob December 23, 2016
The death of a young, intellectually disabled Aboriginal woman living in southwestern Sydney group home in 2013 raised “serious issues” about the state’s healthcare system, a NSW coroner has found.
In findings released yesterday after an inquest in June, Deputy State Coroner Hugh Dillon found the woman’s death was “the tragic conclusion to a cluster of mistakes and failures in systems intended to care for her”.
Shona Hookey, 29, died on July 19, 2013, of a twisted bowel complication after being taken to hospital by carers at the Plane Tree group home in Narellan.
She had a severe intellectual disability that prevented her from speaking. On July 18, Hookey was found “on the ground, banging her head; (she) was very pale and could not support her own weight when standing. She was moaning and was very cold to the touch,” Mr Dillon said.
He found the care she received when she became sick in the group home was inadequate. One carer, who had worked a double-shift of 16 hours, “failed to take effective action”.
“This indecisiveness raises the question why good, experienced people acted so helplessly in Shona’s crisis,” Mr Dillon said. “Their training appears to have failed them.”
At Campbelltown Hospital, the emergency department was overcrowded and Hookey was made to wait on a trolley for two hours before she “crashed”.
Four independent witnesses gave evidence that treating doctor Dinusha Mestrige “made statements or asked questions that suggested he thought that Shona, because of her intellectual disability, should receive a lesser standard of care and treatment than would be given to ‘normal’ patients”.