Calvary Hospital has launched a review of its workplace practices after a patient was dragged out of bed and along the ground for several metres by at least four ward staff, before being dumped in a shower for hours unattended.
Scott Sutherland, 37, was a patient at Calvary on September 11 due to complications from type one diabetes.
Complications from unmanaged diabetes has led to Mr Sutherland's nervous system being damaged, losing control of his bowels as a result.
Having been in and out of hospital multiple times in 2019, Mr Sutherland was in one of the wards on September 11, when he was left in his soiled clothes for several hours, despite multiple requests to hospital staff to have clothes changed.
Mr Sutherland told The Canberra Times he was then manhandled out of his bed by at least four ward staff, before being dragged along the ground of the ward to a shower cubicle several metres away.
"I remember physically being dragged out of bed onto the ground and across the floor and then [the ward staff] got me into the shower and tipped me up into the shower," Mr Sutherland said.
"The stuff that they said to me was absolutely disgusting, they were calling me filthy and disgusting.
"It was absolutely disgusting the way that they treated me."
Mr Sutherland was left in the shower cubicle to clean himself up, being left there by himself for more than two hours.
Multiple witnesses who were in the ward at the time of the incident have told The Canberra Times they saw Mr Sutherland being dragged across the floor by hospital staff.
The September 11 incident was one of several occasions Mr Sutherland said he had been left to sit in soiled clothes for multiple hours, unable to get himself up to go to the bathroom.
On many occasions, Mr Sutherland was left in his soiled clothes for so long he was bleeding and had developed sores around his groin area.
On one occasion, he was left to lie on the hospital bed without any sheets.
Mr Sutherland's sister, Heather Sutherland, who has been acting as a carer for Scott, said the treatment her brother received was shocking.
"I don't even know how to put it into words, they've been completely dismissive. The way he was treated was so poor," she said.
"If I had a dog that had medical conditions and I wasn't treating them, I would be brought to the magistrates court for animal cruelty."
A witness who was in the ward at the time of the incident, who declined to be named, said Mr Sutherland was heard crying in the shower for several hours after he was dragged there by hospital staff.
"What I witnessed should never happen in a hospital," the witness said.
"They just dragged him and physically manhandled him. They just treated him like he was nothing."
Mr Sutherland said he discharged himself from hospital on September 13 due to the poor treatment he received from staff.
It was a bit excessive, to me, to have four wardsmen drag him on the ground. He's not heavy.Heather Sutherland
He said hospital staff had asked him to leave the ward several times, despite being too unwell to look after himself at home.
Ms Sutherland said she feared for the worst after her brother discharged himself.
"There were two scenarios: either he would be going back to Calvary or I would find him dead at home," she said.
"Often Scott is left to look after himself and he can't look after himself."
A Calvary Hospital spokesman said a review of the circumstances behind the incident was being undertaken.
"Personal care and hygiene are a priority consideration in a patient's wellbeing and amenity; and an important part of caring for the 'whole person'," the spokesman said.
"Every effort is made at Calvary to ensure that every patient receive care provided in a respectful, hospitable and supportive environment during their admission."
Calvary Hospital declined to answer questions specific to Mr Sutherland's case, citing patient privacy.
Ms Sutherland said the treatment her brother received while in Calvary was not acceptable.
"It was a bit excessive, to me, to have four wardsmen drag him on the ground. He's not heavy," she said.
In the weeks following the incident at Calvary, Mr Sutherland found himself back in hospital, this time at Canberra Hospital.
His sister said his condition has been taken more seriously at a different hospital, where he has been receiving specialist care.
"The doctor [at Canberra Hospital] said Scott had been utterly neglected," she said.
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