Unacceptable: State Member for Lismore Thomas George with NSW Opposition Parliamentary Secretary for Rural Health Jenny Gardiner outside the Lismore Base Hospital.
Unacceptable: State Member for Lismore Thomas George with NSW Opposition Parliamentary Secretary for Rural Health Jenny Gardiner outside the Lismore Base Hospital. Jay Cronan

Hospital patient was 'tipped out'

THE North Coast Area Health Service has been blasted by the traumatised family of an elderly stroke victim who they say was ‘tipped out’ of the Lismore Base Hospital too soon.

John Sherwin, of Casino, was back in hospital only hours later suffering a suspected second stroke.

The 73-year-old was put on life support when first admitted, but spent only three nights in intensive care before being handed over on July 27 – wearing only his hospital gown – to his shocked 70-year-old wife.

Mr Sherwin’s step-daughter, Sandy Cousins, of Tabulam, said the hospital was not interested in what happened to him once he was out the door.

“There was absolutely no transition to home or follow-up,” she said. “When my mother called the hospital concerned that dad was suffering headaches they said it wasn’t their responsibility and she should call an ambulance if she was worried.”

Ms Cousins’ husband, John, said the family thought Mr Sherwin would be kept in hospital for at least a few more days.

“We’ve got no idea why they just tipped him out,” he said.

State Lismore MP ThomasGeorge described Mr Sherwin’s discharge as ‘appalling’ and ‘bordering on inhumane’.

He said it was rushed because of a lack of beds and nurses at Lismore Base Hospital which would only be resolved by the completion of Stage Three.

However, Ms Cousins blamed a failure of the hospital’s discharge procedures.

A statement from the hospital said general manager Brett Thompson last night called Mr Sherwin to apologise ‘that his discharge arrangements from LBH did not meet his expectations’.

The statement said Mr Sherwin had been seen by a physiotherapist and a specialist before being discharged. “We are currently relocating services so Stage 3 of the Lismore Base Hospital Redevelopment can proceed,” it said.

Mr Sherwin is currently undergoing treatment at a rehabilitation centre in Ballina.


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