$1500 to investigate stolen Sandwiches

  1. http://www.couriermail.news.com.au/c...5E3102,00.html

    State's food snacked on, probe finds
    By Liam Walsh
    04may04
    A HUNT for missing sandwiches in which Queensland Health investigators flew hundreds of kilometres, concluded a staff member had, "on the balance of probabilities", eaten the food.

    The cost to taxpayers of flying, accommodating and feeding the two external investigators to reach this conclusion was about $1500, according to documents obtained via Freedom of Information laws.

    The finding was made six months after the initial allegation surrounding a nursing facility in Charleville.

    The Australian Workers Union has criticised the resources used as a waste at a time when patients faced long waiting lists for medical treatment.

    The argy-bargy has continued, with the AWU also rejecting Queensland Health claims that the worker, who has denied the allegation, had been counselled.

    An AWU spokesman said an official letter sent to the staffer said "no further action" was required "following extensive and comprehensive considerations of the investigation report".

    Queensland Health has defended the resources used as appropriate.

    Southern zone manager Karen Roach also said obtaining outside investigators, in this case from Brisbane and the Fraser Coast, was fair and routine.

    "While an allegation's been made it's inappropriate for the local manager to investigate," she said. "The people who are mostly skilled in this area (investigations) would actually be in Charleville itself, which makes it difficult to draw on people from the same district."

    But Queensland Health was discussing ways of streamlining investigations to see if matters could be dealt with locally, she said.

    The investigators had pursued an accusation which stretched back to a Saturday afternoon on August 23 last year, when two sandwiches went missing from a nursing facility attached to Charleville Hospital, resulting in a shortage for residents.

    Two days later a worker wrote: "If staff stopped eating the sandwiches there would be enough for residents."

    Between August 25 and October 31, correspondence flowed until a manager wrote to an employment relations officer at Brisbane's Princess Alexandra Hospital about "serious complaints" against a staffer.

    The initial terms of reference were only into the missing sandwiches, with the option of expanding investigations if further allegations were raised.

    The investigators reported that two staffers had been accused of eating residents' food and witnesses may have been intimidated.

    One "witness" had said they saw the staffer chewing "within seconds" of taking the sandwiches.

    "It is the findings of the investigators that on the balance of probabilities (name blanked out) consumed sandwiches," the investigators wrote.

    Ms Roach said Queensland Health believed the incident would not occur again because the worker had been counselled in his role at the facility.



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  2. 11 Comments

  3. by   Mister Chris
    Quote from gwenith
    [url]"State's food snacked on." "A HUNT for missing sandwiches in which Queensland Health investigators flew hundreds of kilometres, concluded a staff member had, "on the balance of probabilities", eaten the food."

    "The cost to taxpayers of flying, accommodating and feeding the two external investigators to reach this conclusion was about $1500, according to documents obtained via Freedom of Information laws. "


    That must put the two sandwiches at $750.00 each! What a terrible waste of tax payers money. I can understand the principal behind some ongoing investigations and action so that a shortage did not happen again, but that was going too far! About $1495.00 too far?

    I am sure that the client did not starve, and that the deficiency was made up within a reasonable time. Yes any staff caught eating the food prepared for clients should be dealt with promptly and appropriately, and I do feel that the action should be carried out quickly and efficiently within the facility. Bringing in the big guns is not just "over the top" but also demeaning to the senior staff of the facility. Perhaps nobody thought of that!

    There must be a procedure somewhere that could have been used to solve this problem a little cheaper. I have seen in several nursing establishments notices in staff areas that state clearly that any staff caught consuming food prepared for the clients will be severely punished and if caught subsequently will be dismissed.....or words to that effect!
  4. by   gwenith
    The famous health department featherbedding - been there seen that!!!

    They (the paper pushers) can get away with flying out to Charleville - being put up in a motel overnight having a free meal while the poor workers

    Working through their lunch break without a chance to go and get something to eat are investigated.

    Hmmmmmm what is wrong with this scenario???
  5. by   gwenith
    Now what COULD they have spent that money on....

    http://www.abc.net.au/cgi-bin/common...am/s109596.htm

    ABC Online

    AM Archive - Claims of Rockhampton nursing home horror

    [This is the print version of story http://www.abc.net.au/am/s109596.htm]


    AM Archive - Saturday, 11 March , 2000 00:00:00
    Reporter: Teresa Holland
    COMPERE: Today there are shocking new allegations about another central Queensland nursing home. Rockhampton resident Les Fox claims his wife's urgent medical needs were ignored by a state government facility, the Eventide Nursing Home. As Teresa Holland reports from Rockhampton, Les Fox was prompted to speak out after the finger was pointed at two other aged care facilities in central Queensland.

    LES FOX: I walked into that room - it'd be the most vomit that I've ever seen in a lifetime. She was laying in a pool of it, laying her head on the pillow all on it and all on the floor. She was conscious. And I said 'I'll go and get you help, darling.' I walked down the hall and out comes this RM with his trolley tray of tablets. I was very upset, and I said 'Get down here. Get down here.' He walked in that room. He got a shock. 'Good God!' he said, 'I'll go and get the nurses.'

    TERESA HOLLAND: Two days after Les Fox found his wife Olive lying in her own vomit in Rockhampton's Eventide Nursing Home, she died in the city's base hospital. Doctors at the hospital had told Les it was too late for Olive, they couldn't save her.

    LES FOX: I was talking to a doctor who called me aside: extreme dehydration, lungs had all collapsed, her kidneys, her liver. Nothing they could do.

    TERESA HOLLAND: It's been three months since Olive's death, but the pain hasn't eased for Les Fox. He says recent reports of nursing home neglect have reignited his anger and given him the courage to speak out and demand answers. He wants to know why the Eventide staff failed to get his wife the urgent medical attention she clearly needed on that fateful night, especially when he's been pushing for them to admit her to hospital for over a week. He's approached the Queensland Government which operate the Eventide facility and asked for action.

    LES FOX: I would certainly like to see some of them change things for future residents there. That's the only satisfaction I'll ever get. This is not doing me any good, and it's not going to do Olive any good. It might do future people some good.

    I've seen so many things, I could go on talking to you for an hour.

    TERESA HOLLAND: Mr Fox says the problem at Eventide is staff shortages. The district manager of Rockhampton Health Services, Karen Roach, denies there's any problem.

    KAREN ROACH: I have reviewed the patient's notes, the resident's notes, this afternoon, and I'm quite satisfied that - that all attention was given to this particular resident. And when it was determined that she was unwell, we contacted the doctor immediately and had her transferred to specialist care at Rockhampton Hospital.

    TERESA HOLLAND: Eventide is one of three nursing homes to face criticism in central Queensland this week, and one of many in Queensland under fire. Blame is being directed at the Federal Government because Queensland receives significantly less funding for nursing homes than other states.

    Aged Care Queensland chief executive Michael Isaac says the funding imbalance could be the cause of the problem in central Queensland.

    MICHAEL ISAAC: If we're below the national average by about 10 or $11 a day per person in some of these facilities - there's about 12 000 people in nursing homes across the State. That adds up to a lot of money over a year, and that means a lot more staff, a lot better buildings.

    TERESA HOLLAND: While the governments - state and federal - talk dollars and solutions, people like Les Fox who've experienced the aged care crisis first-hand are hopeful for more than just rhetoric.

    LES FOX: I remarked to one sister up there at Eventide - I said I'll never go in a home.

    She remarked back to me 'neither would I'.

    COMPERE: Les Fox with Teresa Holland in Rockhampton.


    So..... 4 years ago - not that long - a patient dies - neglect is suspected but where is the $1500 investigation????
  6. by   Farkinott
    In the facility I work in the unit is charged $10 for a round of sandwiches and a cuppa (served by domestic staff) by the catering dept!
    Q Build charges $70 to change a lightbulb too!
  7. by   gwenith
    So to have the investigation break even the staff had to have stolen 150 sandwiches!!! And this from the people who keep cutting OUR budget!!!
  8. by   joannep
    Gwenith, I suppose you were the annonymous worker who got the hunger pangs and needed the munchies??
    Happy mothers day to all us mothers in cyberland
    Joanne
  9. by   gwenith
    Not Guilty!!!

    But I do remember having to drive 5-6 hours to give a lectures to nurses in rural central queensland and either driving 5-6 hours back or staying in the nurses quarters. Meanwhile the paper pushers where flying around the state and staying at motels.

    One time I had the temerity to return the goverment car with a mud splash on it - after driving from Rockhampton to Biloela and Moura and back in one day to provide staff development lectures - did 4 hours unpaid overtime - and was told that I should have taken the car to a car wash and paid for it to be cleaned before I returned it.

    Me cynical? NAH!!!
  10. by   Torachan
    Next time someone nicks a sandwich I am prepared to undertake the investigation for $1000. We'd all go down to the pub and I'd ask who did it. Then it would be their shout. When the money is gone we'd arrange for someone else to nick a sanga in about 4 weeks time. In the mean time a report would be filed and everyone can be happy.

    Oh yeah. I'd change the lightbulbs for $40
  11. by   Farkinott
    your logic defies corporate wisdom
  12. by   Tiwi
    OMG! Those sandwiches - and the light bulbs for that matter - must be lined with gold! I wonder how many of these paper pushers get free lunches, or for that matter, steal a couple of sandwiches themselves?
  13. by   ShaunES
    I hope they were damn good for that money.

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