Hospital staffing in spotlight after death of man, 93

THE death of a 93-year-old man after he fell and broke his hip at a Sunshine Coast private hospital has been blamed on inadequate staffing.

The ABC reported that a former senior manager at the Sunshine Coast University Private Hospital was told inadequate staffing led to the man's death.

But the hospital has denied the accusation and the coroner's finding reflect that.

James Hitchins, 93, he was nearly blind, almost deaf, and had chronic kidney disease.

After some falls at home, he was sent as a private patient to the Sunshine Coast University Private Hospital for tests, the ABC reported.

In March, while in hospital, her father had another fall and broke his hip.

He was operated on, but died the next day.

A former manager at the hospital contacted the ABC and said shortly after Mr Hitchins' death another employee told her staffing levels had contributed to the elderly man's fall.

"[The employee] said it was basically the hospital's fault and they didn't put enough staff on to look after him," the former manager said.

"He got out of bed and was wandering about and had a fall."

The coroner's office said it had reviewed the hospital's records of the incident and concluded "low staffing levels was not identified as an issue in the events leading to Mr Hitchins' death".

The Sunshine Coast University Private Hospital is a new 200-bed private hospital operated by Ramsay Health Care.

In a statement to the ABC, Ramsay said the hospital had assessed Mr Hitchins as being a falls risk and "the bed rails were up and the bed was lowered".

More on this at the ABC



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