Family to Claim Compensation for Death of Daughter in Hospital
The family of Amy Hauserman, who drowned while taking an unsupervised bath in the psychiatric unit of Frankston Hospital, have confirmed that they intend to claim compensation for the death of their daughter in hospital following the release of the Coroner´s report.
Amy´s fatal accident occurred in 2008 – just two days after she had voluntarily been admitted into Frankston Hospital due to doctors fearing she was relapsing into the schizophrenic condition which had caused her to suffer from anorexia in her youth.
The Coroner´s report into Amy´s death criticised nursing staff at the hospital for allowing to take a bath without supervision and for not conducting a risk evaluation or consulting her doctors beforehand.
Coroner Peter White concluded that Amy´s death was due to her either slipping and falling as she tried to leave the bath or lapsing into unconsciousness while taking it. He said that the presence of a nurse would have prevented Amy´s death.
The inquest also heard conflicting evidence from the Head of Nursing – who said that protocols existed for psychiatric patients to be observed at all times if no risk assessment had been undertaken – and a nurse who worked on the ward, who said she was unaware of such protocols and she did not think at the time that Amy needed supervision.
After the inquest, Coroner White said that it was an “appropriate response to this tragic episode” that the hospital no longer allowed patients in its high dependency psychiatric ward to take unsupervised baths, but Amy Hauserman´s father confirmed that the family would claim compensation for the death of their daughter in hospital against the Mornington Peninsula Health Service.
A Health Service spokesperson said that he was not prepared to comment on the case, but said in a prepared statement “Peninsula Health is deeply saddened by the death of Ms Amy Hauserman. We have expressed condolence to the Hauserman family on a number of occasions since Amy’s death.”