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Saturday, June 25, 2022

Woman, 92, left out in cold by Adelaide hospital a ‘substantial stuff-up’ says Premier

A 92-year-old great-grandmother who was left to wait in the cold outside a South Australian hospital for two hours on Mother’s Day has received an apology from SA Premier, Peter Malinauskas.

The Premier has ordered a review of the incident that saw Maureen Wortley (pictured) abandoned outside the Lyell McEwin Hospital after she had attended north Adelaide facility following a fall at home on Sunday evening.

It’s understood her family called an ambulance but when one hadn’t arrived more than an hour later, they drove her to hospital.

Instead of being admitted, Ms Wortley – who is the aunt of Labor MP, Russell Wortley – was forced to wait outside the busy hospital wearing only her pyjamas and dressing gown as temperatures in the state dropped to 12 degrees.

“She was asked to sit on her walker, wasn’t provided with a wheelchair or a blanket, asked to sit on her walker outside in 10 or 12 degrees,” a family member told media.

It’s believed Ms Wortley was screened for COVID-19 outside the hospital prior to entry, but was then mistakenly asked to wait to undergo a second test.

Dr Penny Conor from the Northern Adelaide Health Network said the testing error contributed to the delays in the great grandmother’s treatment.

“There was a little bit of miscommunication by a couple of the nurses in the external triage space,” she said.

Her family complained to the hospital, claiming staff in the hospital’s outside tented area were given heating whilst patients were left in the cold.

Premier Malinauskas issued an apology to Ms Wortley, describing the incident as a “substantial stuff up”.

“We saw someone not getting the sort of care that any Australian with a degree of compassion would want to see or certainly expect,” he said.

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