13 May 2019

Prisoner not given HIV medication 'unacceptable'

7:39 pm on 13 May 2019

A health watchdog report has found the Department of Corrections failed to provide a 58-year-old prisoner with his prescribed heart and HIV medication fifteen times.

82856191 - different pills on the table

Photo: 123RF

Deputy health and disability commissioner Kevin Allan said in a report today the Department of Corrections breached the prisoner's rights by not providing him his daily medication for coronary vascular disease, and twice daily medication for HIV.

An initial health assessment was not completed, when the prisoner came into the corrections facility on 11 October 2016.

A registered nurse did not record his recent hospitalisation for chest pain and did not update the medication chart to record that he brought his own supply of medication.

Over three months, Corrections failed to administer his prescribed medication on 15 separate occasion, but only acknowledged that it failed to administer the doses on five occasions.

It admitted that while for the remaining occasions its records showed that it was administered, it was normal practice for medication sheets to be pre-signed.

Mr Allan found that the assessment of his condition, medication and ongoing care was inadequate and placed his health at risk.

"He had no control over his access to medication and was reliant on the staff at Corrections to provide him with adequate care. It is unacceptable that they did not do so."

Corrections advised it would apologise to the prisoner.

Mr Allan recommended that the department conduct an audit of its processes for administrating medication and the completion of initial health assessments.

He also recommended that corrections reiterate to staff that it was unacceptable to pre-sign documents and provide training on the importance of accurate documentation.