Coroner calls on care home, Blue Care to address issues
INACCURATE information provided to the coroner by BE Lifestyle managing director Belinda Wardlaw was highlighted during her appearance at in inquest into the death of quadriplegic mum Leah Floyd.
It was the second time in two days Ms Wardlaw had conceded information she sent to the coroner in September 2014 was incorrect.
Barrister Stephanie Gallagher, who appeared for Sunshine Coast Hospital and Health Service, asked Ms Wardlaw on Tuesday about the letter she wrote after Mrs Floyd's death on October 10, 2013.
Ms Wardlaw agreed the letter gave the impression that Nambour General Hospital had only been in contact with BE Lifestyle twice in regards to her being discharged from the psychiatric ward in September 2013.
But the court heard the hospital and health service had been in touch with BE Lifestyle before Mrs Floyd's admission to the psychiatric ward on September 5, 2013, as well as during her time in the ward on more than two occasions.
Ms Wardlaw said she was not aware of those occasions but conceded the impression she gave to the coroner in the 2014 statement was incorrect.
It was also revealed that Ms Wardlaw had not taken into account information about Mrs Floyd's past before her initial move from the Princess Alexandra Hospital's spinal injuries unit to BE Lifestyle's Yandina Creek care facility on August 26, 2013.
That was despite the information being included on discharge documents BE Lifestyle had been given by the Princess Alexandra Hospital.
Ms Wardlaw agreed there was a problem with the system of passing on information at her business.
She also told the court she had tried on October 4 to convince Mrs Floyd to go to hospital as she wasn't well.
But Mrs Floyd had said she did not want to go.
Ms Wardlaw said she begged Mrs Floyd to go to hospital on October 6 and Mrs Floyd agreed.
Mrs Floyd died four days later of respiratory failure, which was a result of of septicaemia.
A pressure wound on her lower back was found the have become septic.
Queensland Health forensic medical officer Dr Don Buchanan gave evidence based on a review he had done of notes provided about Mrs Floyd's time at Princess Alexandra Hospital, BE Lifestyle and Nambour General Hospital.
Dr Buchanan said he thought the wound care plan undertaken by Blue Care nurses who had been visiting Mrs Floyd at the BE Lifestyle home was reasonable, considering she was not willing to go to hospital.
He also said BE Lifestyle carers had done the job required of them in looking after Mrs Floyd.
When asked what needed improving, he said communication between Nambour General Hospital, Blue Care and BE Lifestyle needed to be better.
Queensland Health forensic nurse examiner Allison De Tina also gave evidence.
She was questioned about the deterioration of a pressure wound on Mrs Floyd's lower back.
Evidence already presented to the inquest showed the wound had gone from having minimal seeping on September 24, 2013, to having a section of dead tissue at the centre of it when inspected by a Blue Care nurse three days later.
That nurse also found Mrs Floyd's air mattress was deflated and she was lying on her back on a hard bed base.
In medical terms, her wound had progressed from a stage two wound to a stage four wound.
Stage four is regarded as the highest grading except for those which are not able to be graded.
Ms De Tina agreed it was a significant and rapid decline.
However, she would not blame the deterioration solely on mismanagement of Mrs Floyd by BE Lifestyle staff members.
She said the deterioration could have a number of contributing factors, including the fact that Mrs Floyd was a smoker, had poor weight and nutrition and a history of pressure wounds.
Ms Wardlaw was the final person to give evidence to the inquest, with legal counsel representatives for each party to give their oral submissions on Wednesday.
Coroner John Lock said there were probably some issues for Blue Care and BE Lifestyle to address.
When considering what had caused Mrs Floyd's decline in health, he said there were multiple issues to be taken into account.
"I don't think there is one clear red flag jumping out at us,” Mr Lock said.