DHB records of Nicky Stevens' treatment go 'missing'

Published: Thu 25 Jun 2015 11:39 AM
DHB records of Nicky Stevens' treatment go 'missing'
Nicky Stevens’ family is devastated and angry to find out today from Waikato DHB management that crucial patient records for Nicky have disappeared from the Henry Bennett Centre at Waikato Hospital.
In a letter received from CEO Nigel Murray today, the family were informed that some records of Nicky’s treatment, movements and leave from the three days immediately before his disappearance and death have disappeared from the Centre’s files – apparently after earlier being sighted by staff sent to inspect them after Nicky's death.
The DHB have told us “Waikato DHB is not at this point able to explain where these pages are."
The family have questioned the transparency and honesty of the DHB’s response to them, with father Dave Macpherson saying “We were promised full disclosure from Day One by DHB Chair Bob Simcock; Henry Bennett Centre staff knew about this document right at the start, but did not give it to us, and now it has disappeared just when a police investigation is starting.”
“How convenient! It’s all very well for the DHB to apologise now for being unable to give us all of Nicky’s records, but crucial evidence is no longer there and it will be much harder for us to establish the full truth about what happened to Nicky in the Henry Bennett Centre,” said Nicky’s mother Jane Stevens.
Nicky’s brother said he was “angry at the lack of accountability for Nicky’s death, and angry at the irresponsible and incompetent management practices before, during and afterwards.”
Information that the DHB HAVE just discovered, and provided to the family, show that Nicky had also gone ‘AWOL’ the day previous to his disappearance, and that the Psychiatrist in charge had been made aware of this on that day, but had made no changes to ensure Nicky’s safety and treatment regime.
After 15 weeks, the family is still waiting for the Hospital’s own internal enquiry into Nicky’s death to commence – an enquiry that is normally required to be completed within 14 weeks.
They will now be formally expressing concern to the DHB that
• Current delays may enable more vital evidence to go missing
• Not all of Nicky’s records have been supplied to the family as promised
• Slack management practices in the Henry Bennett Centre mean the truth in any difficult situation is hard to discover
The family will also be making the point to investigating Police that, if the document was deliberately removed, there may also be a case of ‘perverting the course of justice’ to be looked at. Waikato DHB have advised that they have informed police of the missing records.

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