Four medical workers involved in the treatment of a seven-year-old girl who died at Perth Children’s Hospital after a “cascade of missed opportunities” to help her have been reported to regulators.
Now three nurses and a doctor who were working that night have been reported to the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency, leaving doctors and nurses unions fuming.
One of the three nurses was stood down on full pay on Monday night.
“What’s happened to the bureaucrats? What’s happened to those who made the decision to do stand by and do nothing?” Australian Nursing Federation state secretary Mark Olson said.
AMA WA president Mark Olson said his organisation would not allow the most junior staff doing the most difficult jobs to be “thrown under the bus”.
“We have to get out there and protect those junior staff from what is essentially an arse-covering exercise from the minister, the DG (director-general of the health department), and the senior executive of PCH,” he said.
Premier Mark McGowan and Health Minister Roger Cook continue to say staffing issues on the night were not a problem.
“The emergency department was staffed above its complement. It was staffed above what is normally there,” Mr McGowan said.
But the report into Aishwarya’s death found problems with the structure of staffing. It pointed out that in October last year, emergency department staff met with the Perth Children’s Hospital executive to air concerns around the safety of children in waiting rooms.
Those fears were raised again in December and as recently as March nurses wrote to their union boss because nothing had been addressed.
“We have grave concerns regarding staffing levels and safety,” they wrote.
“There have been several incidents resulting in significant harm to patients.
“Many colleagues feel anxious they cannot deliver adequate care.”
Mr McGowan said his health minister was advised the appropriate processes were in place but said the government would now seek to improve them.