Judith Raxworthy.
Judith Raxworthy.

Service for deaf people fails

QUEENSLAND Health has made a public apology to Judith Raxworthy after Hervey Bay Hospital's services for deaf people failed dismally last week.

Ms Raxworthy is profoundly deaf but was unable to access an interpreter or a TTY phone system when her husband was admitted to hospital in an emergency last week.

Wide Bay Health District manager Beth Norton said the incident would be further investigated by the department.

“Queensland Health apologises for any distress experienced by Mrs Raxworthy and her family,” Ms Norton said.

“Initial inquiries indicate that despite the best efforts of hospital staff, the Teletext system could not be accessed due to technical difficulties.

“Hervey Bay Hospital offers an Auslan interpreter service through an external provider and it appears that an interpreter did not attend on one occasion and was cancelled on a second when a family member was able to assist.

“This incident is being reviewed to ensure patients and their families have equitable access to appropriate interpreter services.

“If it is found processes were not followed, or if technical difficulties were experienced, strategies will be implemented to avoid a reoccurrence.”

Ms Raxworthy, from Maryborough, spent four days relying on family and friends to interpret for her.



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