Monday, May 28, 2012

PUBLIC INTEREST WHISTLEBLOWER KAREN SMITH INTERVIEWED. SING ADVISES THAT READER'S DIGEST HAS PUBLISHED A MUST SEE WHISTLEBOWING ARTICLE ENTITLED 'SPEAKING OUT' ON PAGE 100 OF JUNE'S EDITION 2102.

IN A RECENT INTERVIEW WITH THE READER'S DIGEST, KAREN SMITH RELATES HER EXPERIENCES AT EVENTIDE NURSING HOME, BRIGHTON, BRISBANE.

MORE DETAILED INFORMATION OF HOW IT BEGAN WITH THE FIRST PUBLIC INTEREST DISCLOSURE TO THE CRIME AND MISCONDUCT COMMISSION AND HOW HER EMPLOYMENT ENDED ARE WRITTEN IN THE POSTS BELOW.

3 comments:

  1. thank you Karen

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  2. Karen you are courageous and determined. Our state heatlh services do not appear to have come very far from their inception of convict run nursing/administration services. The entrenched culture of abuse disguised as professional integrity is touted by nursing management to keep in check their subordinates and maintain their bastions of supremecy and subdue the light of day reaching their unethical dealings. Martin Luther King said that "for evil to thrive, all it takes is for good men to do nothing". I worked in the Federal Health Sector and knew nothing other than being held to a higher moral and ethical standard as a health professional. Coming to Queensland Health in the Bjelke-Peterson years witnessing lack of basic provisions, medicines and the buildings that had not been changed since Queen Victoria reigned was horrible enough but to note that everyone aspired to be like Nurse Ratchett sent me running back to DVA as quickly as I could. It took a generation of change by the labour government to undo the 40 years of entrenched thuggery but unfortunately the proteges of the old bastion slithered off to outreach disciplines like aged care or country hospitals where they were promoted and given powers to sit on committees and run things like their mentors had taught them. Queensland Health has not embraced the world standards for professional conduct but rather it chooses to harbour the culture of abuse and thuggery and this fish is rotten at the head right through to the tail. Its not going to get any easier because Joh Bjelkie-Peterson's boys are back in power and already they are overturning good decisions made by Labour, closing contracts of do gooders, lining the halls with jobs for their mates and relatives and filling their bank accounts on the sly and abusing anyone who thinks that is a bad idea. The people who will suffer will be Queenslanders because the really great professionals who live quietly under the radar of abuse will get fed up and leave like I did. When the executive branch of any hospital dines on expensive lunches and buys mercedes benz for company cars and tells their staff they have no money in the budget for basics like staff chairs and pens let alone medical equipment and medicine then something is not quite right. When directors of nursing take money ear marked for projects and wages to employ staff to run programs and spends it on pork for their buddies and then instigates a campaign of abuse lasting 10 years on any staff member who has the temerity to question what is going on then you have to wonder. As Qsuper, they are paying out millions of dollars each year to staff who have been systematically bullied by Directors of Nursing and their cronies.

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  3. I worked at a Nursing Home at Wellington Point called Loma Linda. This establishment was run by a Matron Unwin and her good friend as Deputy. The cook was matrons daughter who was a physio student at uni and not a dieticiann and Matrons family ran the laundry services. Matron hired 1.5 nurses and a useless Registered Nurse per shift. The nursing assistants were required to scrub the linen. No gloves, aprons or masks were provided to nursing staff for infection control management our hands and clothes smelled of faeces when we sat down to eat our meals. We were expected to go from patient management to food management duties.The windows had no fly screens and each room had less than 2 feet between beds. Patients were often infested with mosquito and sandfly bites and many could not protect themselves from being bitten. Ceiling fans and air conditioning did not exist and the only winter heating each room had was an electric bar heater on one wall and the owner would come by at 9 pm to check these were turned off forcing us to get patients up for toileting in the freezing cold nights. The patients were not fed nutritional dietician planned meals. I often noted that a kitchen hand was preparing vitamized meals made from old gravy, a can of tomato soup and stale bread and this was heated in plastic dishes in a microwave. Meals were often pre cooked and frozen including quiche, scrambled eggs which went watery and were unappetizing and not eaten by patients as a result. Often patients were served food that was so inappropriate like a bottle of pasta sauce with chopped up cabana or salami through it or if the cook simply couldnt be bothered she would organise a bar-b-que for ALL patients and if they couldnt cope with the fare then tough they starved. I complained on behalf of the ambulatory patients who were asking nurses to buy groceries and bring them in to the home on the sly and Matron Unwin took offence and set about making my life hell. Her main argument was that she had lived in the Redlands Shire for 40 years and her reputation would not be impuned. Oops too late. Registered nurses did not administer drugs directly to the patients, they put them out in to cups and left them in the kitchen for the nurses to decide which tray they should go on. The cups only had the patients first name on them and we had 2 stephens, 2 dorothys and I often noted new nurses giving wrong medication to wrong patients. Just before I resigned, several patients were infested with scabies. Two staff members became cross infected and were summarily sacked not supported. Matron refused to bring the GP in to treat the infection for six months and eventually one of the relatives asked a private dermatologist to see their relative and he asked to look at other patients in the room and declared the whole place a health hazard. Matron enlisted an army of cronies for the pre-booked health department inspection that ensued and even went to lengths to throw out mattresses and treat patients with a horrible drug called Benzemol which burns the skin clean of scabies and mites. It was cruel and entirely preventable treatment. Loma Linda was closed down. I was disgusted with the way those patients were forced to live so much so that I will never put any relative in to a nursing home. These places receive millions of dollars in government kick backs to hire enough staff but do not monitor how its spent and how it benefits the patients. If this Matron Unwin would employ her relatives and give jobs to her best friends family on top of already generous wages and not employ enough nurses then you have to wonder why Queensland Health havent changed considering this all took place in 1989 to 1991.

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