ACT News


MLA Nicole Lawder's mother-in-law mistreated in Canberra Hospital

Canberra Liberals assembly member Nicole Lawder tabled claims about the poor treatment of her mother-in-law at Canberra Hospital, in the legislative assembly on Thursday.

The new claims come just one day after opposition leader Jeremy Hanson read out a letter in the assembly describing the poor treatment received by a Canberra Hospital patient who was left in his urine-soaked bed for hours.

But chief minister Katy Gallagher said the vast majority of feedback received from the ACT Health system was positive and every complaint she received was investigated.

Ms Lawder said her elderly mother-in-law was admitted to Canberra Hospital following a fall, suffering from a broken shoulder and requiring a hip replacement.

According to Ms Lawder, after surgery her mother-in-lawdeveloped serious bed sores afterher complaints of burning heels and sore toes were ignored.

Despite being an insulin-dependent diabetic, she was allegedly not given insulin when required and her special dietary requirements were allegedly ignored.


Ms Lawder said her mother-in-law was unable to feed herself due to her broken shoulder, but her family had to help her eat as there weren't enough nurses. She was also unable to go the bathroom for hours, as there were no nurses to help her.

She also said the elderly man in the bed opposite often urinated on himself due to the lengthly wait for a nurse to help him to the bathroom, and at one stage was left naked from the waist down for hours while his pants were washed.

Chief minister Katy Gallagher said she was not aware of the incident raised by Ms Lawder and that about 65 per cent of feedback she received from the ACT health system was positive.

She said there would be occasions when people felt the quality of care provided was not what they expected.

"This is the nature of the health system, it does not show systemic failings by any means. It is a human system, it is a busy system," she said

"There will be people who feel that the care provided to them was not of the standard that they should have been provided [but] there will also be a number of patients that say the level of care exceeded their expectations."

She said she encouraged Ms Lawder to send all details of the complaint to either Ms Gallagher's office or ACT Health so it could be properly investigated.

Ms Lawder's comments were the second complaint read out by the Canberra Liberals in the legislative assembly in the past week.

In another complaint read on Wednesday, an male patient was allegedly left sitting in urine-soaked clothes for hours after a nurse saidshe didn't have time to change him.