Garden City set to rights by elderly couple

A Netcare 911 vehicle at an accident scene. For illustration purposes only. Photo: Mathilde Myburgh.

Adeline de Laporte’s recent nightmarish experience at Netcare Garden City included having her medication switched with another patient’s.

According to husband D’Arcy de Laporte, 75, his wife, 65, spent, or rather suffered through, six days in hospital after receiving a hip replacement surgery. For the first day and a half, she was left without drinking water to the extent where D’Arcy had to deliver bottled water to her. He alleged she didn’t receive her sleeping pills until 12.30am one night. Adeline wasn’t helped to the bathroom, which had a leaky tap, and the night staff were allegedly so noisy that she believed they were having a celebration down the hall. She was discharged and given another patient’s medication to take home.

“During her six-day stay she was not even given a single cup of tea,” he told the Record.

This led him to write to Joe Sandows, the hospital’s manager, and to the Record to point out bad service. The Record came in contact with Sandows,who offered an explanation as to why no explanation was given to the family 19 days after they complained.

“We have engaged with the family and welcome their constructive input,” Sandows wrote in an official response.

“We have extended our apologies to Mrs de Laporte as her experience of our service was not the standard of care we pride ourselves on.”

Sandows said the family’s experience has granted the hospital management an opportunity to address their concerns and highlight the role each department plays in service delivery. An investigation followed. Though Netcare Garden City denies that sleeping pills were administered late, they took the noise complaint very seriously and the unit manager addressed day and night nursing staff on the issue.

“The need for repairs to the bathroom mentioned was attended to by our technical department staff, and the issue about tea was taken up with the contracted catering company.”

Sandows said the most concerning of their experience was the incorrect medication administered, for which the unit manager again engaged with the staff who handled Adeline’s discharge.

“As hospital management we apologise unreservedly for the lapses in quality experienced by the De Laportes,” Sandows concluded.

Adeline said she feels the hospital isn’t equipped to deal with cases like hers and added, “the staff is not very attentive”.

She’s since been recovering at home and started physiotherapy at another hospital closer to home.

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Mathilde Myburgh

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