Health check for Northdale

2015-07-24 09:29
Northdale Hospital

Northdale Hospital (File)

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TWO senior officials at Northdale Hospital have been removed from the hospital pending an investigation by the department of Health into ­damning allegations of mismanagement at the facility.

The Witness can reveal that ­Northdale Hospital CEO Felicity du Preez was given a “precautionary ­transfer” and Human Resources manager Sibongile Ndlovu was suspended by Health MEC Sibongiseni Dhlomo at a meeting held on Wednesday.

While the two are away, the ­department will be conducting an ­intricate investigation into the ­hospital’s management.

According to a source in the hospital’s management, uMgungundlovu district medical manager May Zuma-Mkhonza was the driving force behind the action against Du Preez and Ndlovu and the investigation into the facility.

The investigation comes after ­allegations of the mismanagement and mistreatment of staff and patients at the facility.

The hospital’s management have continuously come under fire by the ­department since last year, with ­members of the public lashing out against staff at the same time.

Northdale Hospital public relations officer Mandisa Dlamini yesterday referred The Witness queries on the matter to the department of Health, saying she was not at liberty to comment.

Spokesperson for the KZN ­department of Health Sam Mkhwanazi yesterday confirmed that the CEO of Northdale Hospital has been given a “precautionary transfer” pending the outcome of an investigation into ­allegations of having “contravened policies of the department”.

“The department can also confirm the suspension of the human ­resources manager from the same ­institution, pending the outcome of an investigation into allegations of having contravened policies of the ­department,” Mkhwanazi said.

Du Preez previously came under fire in March this year, when members of the National Health Education and ­Allied Workers’ Union (Nehawu) called for her to be dismissed.

The union protested outside the ­hospital entrance after Du Preez was publicly shamed by Dhlomo following allegations that patients had been treated poorly at the facility.

At a meeting of the staff of 71 KZN hospitals, Dhlomo named and shamed 11 CEOs and public relations officers and referred to media publications highlighting poor treatment of patients that had made it onto the front pages of newspapers.

Du Preez and PRO Mandisa Dlamini were among those singled out.

Speaking to The Witness yesterday, Nehawu regional secretary Phakama Ndunakazi said their concerns were raised after their members were ­“harassed” by management; they also complained of corruption and ­mismanagement of staff.

“We are fully behind the ­investigation. We have demanded that all those that are alleged to have ­engaged in misconduct are investigated and charged,” Ndunakazi said.

•In the most recent atrocity ­reported, The Witness made a shocking discovery in June when 68 boxes crammed with vital medical equipment were found in the basement of the ­hospital by staff.
Patients were previously being turned away due to the lack of the same equipment.

•In May, The Witness told the story of Letitia Bentley, who alleged that her mother was “treated so badly” before she died in the care of hospital staff.
Bentley said nurses had fed her mother but had left strands of food all over her face and bed and she found ants crawling on her mother’s body and bed and no one would clean her up.

•In February, The Witnessreported the case of Zikhona Mkhize (25), a young mother who suffered a painful ordeal after she was left alone cradling her dead newborn baby for several hours after nursing staff at the hospital left her unattended.
It is unclear when the investigations will start and how long they will take to be completed.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  health

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