Many in the sector have been waiting for Bupa to be called to the stand, given the number of its facilities that have been sanctioned in the past 12 months.
Maureen Berry, Bupa’s Executive Clinical Advisor, was grilled by senior counsel for appearing before the Commission instead of the two RNs who had been on duty the night a resident (whose experience was the central case study for the day) had passed away at the facility.
Earlier, the residents’ two daughters had taken the stand to call the facility’s handling of their mother’s care ““a farce and honestly an absolute disgrace”.
But over two hours of tense interrogation from counsel, Ms Berry stood her ground on several occasions – maintaining the care provided to the resident was appropriate and adequate overall and rejecting that the facility was short-staffed at the time of the resident’s death.
She did so even as counsel showed her a physical copy of the roster showing only four personal care attendants and two nurses on duty, which she said was consistent with Bupa’s rostering polices.
“There are times when care provision wasn’t as prompt as it could have been or perhaps explained as well as it could have been or documented as well as it could have been.”
“From my review of the documents and gleaning pieces of information from all parts of the clinical file and all documentation that I had to hand, that there is enough evidence . . . to say that the right care was happening most of the time at the right time.”
“But what I also would say is that there was a lack of clinical documentation of appropriate clinical documentation of the care provided.”
But after intense back-and-forth questioning, Ms Berry eventually admitted that there was a lack of communication with the residents’ daughters about their mother’s palliative care.
“It was a shortcoming in communication and preparing for the family about what was about to happen”.
She also conceded that the lack of pain assessments for the resident in the weeks before her death was “a serious failure” by Bupa Willoughby.
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