State aged care not good enough

A GOONDIWINDI legend has been “shafted from his home town” according to his grieving family.

Revered boxing trainer Ted Sewell, 76, was renowned for giving young blokes a fair deal.

He was hard but fair, says his brother Terry.

But that’s not how he was treated by Queensland Health according to the family.

Ted died on May 26.

“The doctor at the Base Hospital had arranged with the Goondiwindi Hospital to accept Ted back as a palliative care patient but while we were waiting to hear if we could arrange transport back to goondiwindi by ambulance Ted passed away, in a town and place where he did not want to be,” Terry said.

He blames Queensland Health and has written to “everyone he can think of” - from the Prime minster, Tony Abbott and  the Queensland Premier Anastacia Palaszczuk and  down.

His only response so far has come from Southern Downs Member, Lawrence Springborg and Maranoa Member, Bruce Scott.

Due to medical problems which included diabetes, heart and kidney issues, and failing eyesight which has led to a number of falls, Ted had been admitted to the Goondiwindi hospital.

A cut over his eye required stitches.

Ted was told by his doctor he needed 24 hour, seven-day-a-week support.

Luckily Kaloma Home for the Aged had a room.

“Ted was assessed and was put on an urgent-need waiting list for Kaloma,” Terry said.

‘Being the person he was Ted told me to giveaway all his furniture. ‘It’s not in great nick Just give it to people who need it’,” he told his brother.

Ted’s family thought it would be a matter of putting Ted back in hospital until a room became available at Kaloma.

However they were told, as Ted was not an “acute patient” they could not admit him.

“We were left with absolutely nowhere to take my brother. We phone Inglewood, Texas, Millmerran, Warwick, Stanthorpe and St George nursing homes and was given the same answer: There were no vacancies.

“The hospital at that time was about, to my knowledge,  30percent capacity not taking into account B Block which was closed down a while back.

“In the end the only place we could find was in Toowoomba. Ted absolutely hated the idea of leaving his home town, he absolutely hated being so far away.”

Terry is adamant the care provided was substandard, especially in comparison  with that he received at Kaloma and by Goondiwindi Hospital staff.

“Teddy couldn’t eat much. So he liked ice cream.”

Terry says he overheard a conversation between a carer and Ted while he was waiting on the phone.

She kept trying to make him eat his dinner. He kept saying ‘ice cream’ because that’s all he could eat easily.. In frustration he finally yelled out “ice cream’.

“The nurse threatened to get security. Here’s a 76 year-old man who couldn’t get out of bed, who was dying and she calling on security.

Terry said he had other “issues” with the nursing home but would take that up with them.

To Page Four.

Terry, who is a disabled pensioner, travelled twice a week to Toowoomba to see his brother.

“That cost alone was getting too much for me. But, I had to do it. The first thing Ted would say to me every time I seen him was, ‘is there a vacancy at Kaloma yet mate’ and I felt worthless saying,’ not yet, mate’ “.

Terry has made it his goal to ensure other people like Ted don’t have to endure be turned away their home-town hospital.

He has taken his fight  for a “fairer deal for pensioners” to politicians and he is attempting to contact 60 Minutes, the 7.30 report, anyone who will listen he said.

“The lack of funding is not painting a bright future for people who need 24/7 support and treatment in our nursing homes. The pioneers and the very people who made Goondiwindi the town it is today are actually being forced to seek out other homes far away from their families, relations an loved ones and friends.

“It’s not good enough.”

Adding “insult to injury”,  was a letter sent to Lawrence Springborg over the issue from Rural health and Aged Care General manager, Michael Bishop.

“I have reviewed the circumstances surrounding Mr Edward Sewell’s transfer to Casa Mia Nursing Home, Inglewood as referred to in Ms Robert’s correspondence of 27 May. I am satisfied that the patient was provided with appropriate care and treatment at all times during his admission and the discharged process was based on sound practice by the clinical discharge team

“Goondiwindi Hospital is an acute care facility and does not have either the physical capability or staff to provide residential aged care. In light of the funding framework for acute hospitals, it is not within the darling Downs Hospital and health Service’s capacity to respond positively to Ms Roberts’ request to provide long-term care for patients awaiting placemen at the Kaloma Home for the Aged.”

Mr Bishop did however ask staff to meet with Kaloma CEO,Penni Roberts and the Goondiwindi Hospital’s Community Advisory Group.

From Page Three

Terry, who is a disabled pensioner, travelled twice a week to Toowoomba to see his brother.

“That cost alone was getting too much for me. But, I had to do it. The first thing Ted would say to me every time I seen him was, ‘is there a vacancy at Kaloma yet mate’ and I felt worthless saying,’ not yet, mate’ “.

Terry has made it his goal to ensure other people like Ted don’t have to endure be turned away their home-town hospital.

He has taken his fight  for a “fairer deal for pensioners” to politicians and he is attempting to contact 60 Minutes, the 7.30 report, anyone who will listen he said.

“The lack of funding is not painting a bright future for people who need 24/7 support and treatment in our nursing homes. The pioneers and the very people who made Goondiwindi the town it is today are actually being forced to seek out other homes far away from their families, relations an loved ones and friends.

“It’s not good enough.”

Adding “insult to injury”,  was a letter sent to Lawrence Springborg over the issue from Rural Health and Aged Care General Manager, Michael Bishop.

“I have reviewed the circumstances surrounding Mr Edward Sewell’s transfer to Casa Mia Nursing Home, Inglewood as referred to in Ms Robert’s correspondence of 27 May. I am satisfied that the patient was provided with appropriate care and treatment at all times during his admission and the discharged process was based on sound practice by the clinical discharge team

“Goondiwindi Hospital is an acute care facility and does not have either the physical capability or staff to provide residential aged care

“In light of the funding framework for acute hospitals, it is not within the Darling Downs Hospital and health Service’s capacity to respond positively to Ms Roberts’ request to provide long-term care for patients awaiting placemen at the Kaloma Home for the Aged.”

Mr Bishop did however ask staff to meet with Kaloma CEO, Penni Roberts and the Goondiwindi Hospital’s Community Advisory Group.

The response: 

This is the response from Darling Downs Hospital and Health Service General Manager Rural Mr Michael Bishop:

The  Darling Downs Hospital and Health Service (DDHHS) has had several meetings with the Sewell family about their concerns relating to the care of Mr Edward (Ted) Sewell.

DDHHS sincerely regrets the Sewell family and other community members have been disappointed by our inability to respond to their needs.

It would be inappropriate to publicly provide more information about the individual circumstances due to privacy considerations. DDHHS, as part of its planning processes, is aware that there is a shortage of aged care places in the Goondiwindi community. Residential aged care funding and places are the responsibility of the Commonwealth Government. Goondiwindi Hospital is neither funded nor designed to provide safe and responsible care to elderly people requiring residential aged care. We fully support the community in advocating for increased aged care resources so elderly community members can receive appropriate care locally. DDHHS encourages feedback, and patients or their families have many ways to express their concerns. This feedback helps us to understand issues and work on ways to improve our care.

Feedback can be provided by emailing Consumer_Liaison_DDHHS@health.qld.gov.au.