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Health and Community Services Complaints Commission Report on Investigation of Royal Darwin Hospital Security Arrangements for the protection of Children and Infants Paediatric Ward 5B Volume 1



Health and Community Services Complaints Commission Report on Investigation of Royal Darwin Hospital Security Arrangements for the protection of Children and Infants Paediatric Ward 5B Volume 1

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20. Assessment As a result of the views expressed by NAAJA and the childs mother, and the opinion of the HCSCC senior investigation officer, a determination was made to conduct an investigation into the security of the Paediatric Ward 5B at RDH. Doctor Tarun Weeramanthri was sent notification of this determination on the 3rd September 2007. On the 16th October 2007 correspondence was sent to Dr Weeramanthri advising that a site inspection would be conducted and contact would be made to arrange an inspection. Dr Weeramanthri was the Chief Health Officer. Under a protocol with HCSCC DHCS (DHF) had nominated the Chief Health Officer as the person to speak for and represent DHCS (DHF) on all complaints and investigations by the HCSCC. Subsequently, a Senior Investigation Officer (SIO) from HCSCC made contact with RDH seeking an appointment on behalf of the Director of Investigations (DI) for a security inspection to be conducted. Ms {Name Withheld} the Clinical Nurse Consultant (CNC) on Ward 5B (Paediatrics) was nominated by RDH as an appropriate employee at Royal Darwin Hospital to assist the DI with the security inspection. On the 14th November 2007 the DI rang Ward 5B and spoke to the CNC. An appointment for a security inspection was arranged for the 21st November 2007 at 09:30am. A comprehensive explanation for conducting the security inspection was given to the CNC. The CNC did not raise any concerns about her ability to assist in the inspection and to answer the questions that were then sent by email to her prior to the attendance of the DI. On the same date (14.11.07) an email confirming the appointment was sent to the CNC and copied to the General Manager of Royal Darwin Hospital Dr Len Notaras and Mr Richard Nelson (Complaints Coordinator of Strategy and Quality) from the Department of Health & Community Services (DHCS) for their attention and information. (Return receipts confirming the receipt of these emails was received). On the 16th November 2007 a list of questions relating to security within the Paediatric Ward was compiled and emailed to the CNC with copies to Dr Notaras, Mr Nelson and Ms Carolyn Adam (Executive Assistant to RDH General Manager Dr Len Notaras). No response from RDH or DHCS (DHF) was received in relation to the above mentioned emails. At 09:10am on Wednesday the 21st November 2007, the DI attended Ward 5B (Paediatric Ward) at Royal Darwin Hospital to meet with the CNC and conduct a security assessment of this ward. It was envisaged that during this visit the requested responses and documentation would be provided to the questions sent to the hospital (cc to DHCS) on 16th November 2007. This was not the case. Due to a lack of preparedness, despite being advised by phone and email that questions would be raised and documents sought, the CNC advised that she had not opened her email, further explaining that RDH management had not assisted or discussed the matter with her. All of the questions asked by email of the CNC plus some additional questions were later directed to the General Manager of RDH and appear later in this report beginning at page 27.