A woman died at home because nurses were “too busy” to help her, a South Australian coroner’s inquest has found.
Rita Broadway, 66, died in her home after calling South Australia's Royal District Nursing Service (which is not associated with the group RSL Care RDNS Limited) for help on January 1, 2015 complaining she was in pain and needed her catheter changed.
Recordings of the conversation between Ms Broadway and former RDNS worker Colette Bailey reveal her pleas went unheard.
“Is it possible to have my catheter changed today please?” Ms Broadway asks.
“No, I don’t think so, not today,” Ms Bailey says.
Ms Broadway told the RDNS worker she had been at Modbury Hospital the day before and asked but her request was denied.
Ms Baileys said if they didn’t change it last night they probably didn’t need to.
“They wouldn’t do it,” Ms Broadway says.
“It’s causing me a lot of pain still.”
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Despite her obvious distress, Ms Bailey tells her nurses were “very, very busy”.
Ms Broadway replies: “You know when that happens, I always feel that I’m not important."
Ms Broadway died the following day from complications from a urinary tract infection and heart disease.
The 66-year-old’s sister Caron said she’s furious that nurses didn’t listen to her.
“Everyone should just be treated with dignity,” she said outside court.
Coroner Mark Johns slammed the RDNS staffer for being dismissive and showing a lack of empathy. He’s recommended Health Minister Peter Malinauskas investigate ways to help workers better diagnose catheter-related infections.
In a statement, the RDNS admits compassion wasn’t shown during the phone call.
The employee has since retired.