Anti-corruption authorities clear hospital staff of serious misconduct

Anti-corruption authorities clear hospital staff of serious misconduct

Anti-corruption authorities have cleared hospital staff of serious misconduct after a palliative care patient, Kevin Reid, was allegedly placed alive in a body bag at the morgue.

Atomic Digest Ad

Mr Reid, aged 55, died in Rockingham General Hospital, south of Perth, in September 2022.

Nurses believed he had died on the night of 5 September and informed the family before transferring him to the morgue without issuing a death certificate.

However, a registrar working at the hospital discovered fresh blood on Mr Reid’s hospital gown the next day.

Two of his limbs had moved, and his eyes were open, leading to concerns that he was still alive when he was placed in the bag.

The registrar claimed that he was pressured by senior hospital staff to backdate Mr Reid’s death after a funeral director questioned the discrepancy between the date on the death certificate and the one given to them by the family.

The registrar subsequently resigned from the hospital and requested that authorities and the coroner investigate the incident.

Western Australia’s Corruption and Crime Commission has handed down its findings in a nine-page report, stating that hospital staff conduct “didn’t reach the threshold for a reasonable suspicion of serious misconduct.”

The commission described the registrar as a credible witness but said the evidence did not support a serious misconduct finding.

A clinical review of the incident led by the Department of Health’s Chief Medical Officer, including expert advice from a State Forensic Pathologist, found no evidence that Mr Reid was alive in the morgue.

The investigation highlighted a “misconduct risk” in relying on paper records, and the commission recommended implementing a digital medical record system in the hospital.

South Metropolitan Health Service chief executive Paul Forden welcomed the findings and confirmed that a digital medical record system was being implemented at the hospital.

An investigation into Mr Reid’s death by the coroner’s court is ongoing.

»Anti-corruption authorities clear hospital staff of serious misconduct«

↯↯↯Read More On The Topic On TDPel Media ↯↯↯