SUNSHINE Coast University Hospital called the partner of the wrong Jennifer Hill when it sought to discuss her condition and treatment. Instead of Jenny Hill of Mount Coolum (pictured) who it had failed to identify was suffering from Guillain-Barre Syndrome, it called the partner of Jennifer Hill of Beerwah. That Ms Hill has last been in hospital for an appendix operation in May, 2016.
SUNSHINE Coast University Hospital called the partner of the wrong Jennifer Hill when it sought to discuss her condition and treatment. Instead of Jenny Hill of Mount Coolum (pictured) who it had failed to identify was suffering from Guillain-Barre Syndrome, it called the partner of Jennifer Hill of Beerwah. That Ms Hill has last been in hospital for an appendix operation in May, 2016. Patrick Woods

BLUNDER: Doctor breaks bad news to wrong person

SUNSHINE Coast University Hospital confused the identity of a woman whose condition it had misdiagnosed with that of another who had never stepped foot inside the $1.8 billion health hub.

As a result a doctor phoned the partner of the wrong woman to discuss the other's medical condition.

Fortunately the partner of Jennifer Hill of Beerwah, despite his own heart condition, was more certain of her current health than the health service, having just seen her depart for a day's work at the local Lifeline store.

Sunshine Coast University Hospital is already conducting a review of its January 9-11 treatment of the other Jenny Hill of Mt Coolum who it sent home on January 11 only for her to be taken to Princess Alexandra Hospital in Brisbane five days later where she was diagnosed within the hour of suffering Guillain-Barre Syndrome.

 

OOPS: Jennifer Hill's partner received a call from SCUH to tell him she was seriously ill when she wasn't.
OOPS: Jennifer Hill's partner received a call from SCUH to tell him she was seriously ill when she wasn't. Warren Lynam

However Ms Hill of Beerwah said while she had complained about the mix up via the SCUH's complaint line the only response had been 'sorry, that's never happened before'.

"My partner has a heart problem and didn't need to be concerned," she said.

"What if they had been using my charts and information.

"I was alright. I did a full day's work at Lifeline Beerwah."

Ms Hill said her confidence in the health system had been shaken by the incident and that she was still waiting for an apology from the doctor who accessed the wrong information.

Her last visit to hospital had been to Nambour in May, 2016, for an appendix operation.

"We don't have the same UR number, birthday, middle name or phone number," she said.

"It's damaged my confidence. I've had an appointment since (at Nambour) for an arthroscope on my knee and made sure they had the right UR. If I go to any hospital I will be making sure they check the detail.

The other Ms Hill of Mount Coolum said given her experience she found the mix-up not surprising.

Her partner Michael White identified January 19 as the day he had gone to the SCUH to explain what his wife's condition had been and to complain about the misdiagnosis.

She was admitted to the Princess Alexandra Hospital on January 16 and discharged to Noosa Private on January 25 where she underwent another 11 days of recovery before returning home.

Her illness has forced her to shut down her home business and she now faces up to two years of rehabilitation from the illness that causes the body's immune system to attack the peripheral nervous system causing debilitating pain and partial paralysis.

Sunshine Coast Hospital and Health Service spokesman Dr Piotr Swierkowski, said no patient information was disclosed..

"When calling patients and/or their spouses our protocol is to identify ourselves and the reason for the call without disclosing any patient information. In this instance the protocol was followed. We apologise for any inconvenience this may have caused.

"The health service has attempted to contact Ms Jenny Hill (Mount Coolum) a number of times to discuss the details of her case."


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