Health Director-General Dr Peggy Brown has been wheeled out to catch bullets for the Chief Minister and admit someone’s been playing silly buggers with Canberra Hospital’s Emergency Department numbers:
“This is a serious matter affecting the accuracy of our data reporting, but I would like to stress that it in no way reflects on the quality of care in the Canberra Hospital Emergency Department, or the professionalism of the doctors, nurses and allied health staff within the ED,” Dr Brown said.
A preliminary investigation into this matter has resulted in a senior administrative staff member at the Hospital being stood down pending an independent formal investigation. The investigation is due to commence this week and is expected to take several weeks.
“At this stage it appears that waiting and treatment times have been altered on some records without authority, and I am very sorry that this has occurred,” Dr Brown said.
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“The evidence to date suggests this to be an isolated instance. I do not believe that the integrity and professionalism of the vast majority of Health Directorate staff should be judged, based on what appear to be the actions of one individual,” the Director-General said.
Information from the preliminary investigation suggests that the concerns are specific to the Emergency Department data, and further controls have already been put in place to ensure that the problems identified will not happen again.
The Directorate will also be commissioning a full external review across data collection and reporting systems at the Hospital.