Palliative care has been provided by Cranford Hospice to residents of the Hawkes Bay region since 1982. This care is commissioned by Hawkes Bay District Health Board (HBDHB) which provides 70% of the funding, the rest being charitable donations and fundraising. Management of Cranford is through Presbyterian Support East Coast (PSEC).
According to a local journalistic investigation (.doc), the local community had “developed both tremendous pride and trust in the care provided by Cranford ... But now that trust has been shaken by a very public dispute between present management, as provided by Presbyterian Support, and former and present clinical staff, who allege that quality of care has suffered in an environment of insensitivity and mis-placed responsibility at best – and bullying and intimidation at worst.”
A complaint about the standard of medical care at Cranford Hospice was e-mailed to the Health and Disability Commissioner (HDC) on 19 January 2010. The complaint was forwarded to and received by Hawkes Bay District Health Board (HBDHB) on 2 February 2010.
As a result, HBDHB commissioned an investigation by one of its subsidiaries CRTAS. The report was issued at the end April. The full report (.pdf) as amended by HBDHB and PSEC, includes copy of original email complaint.
PSEC engaged local Private Detectives Abraham Consultants Ltd to investigate alleged “breaches of confidentiality” by Cranford (mainly nursing) Staff, who might have been involved with the original complaint.
Cranford in-patient unit has been temporarily closed and twelve nurses lost their jobs. Dr Kevin Snee commented that he was “pleased with the process”
Eventually, and in response to public furore, three senior executives of PSEC resigned.
There are certain worrying features. Only some of these have been answered publicly by Dr Kevin Snee. Many questions remain, not least an accusation that the identity of the original complainant was divulged to a local newspaper. In his reply, Dr Snee skated over a suggestion that the original confidential HDC email reached PSEC management via his office.
Update: Cranford Hospice re-opened to inpatients in November 2010.
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