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Shocking Report Reveals Failures In Townsville University Hospital’s Audiology Unit

An independent review of Townsville University Hospital’s audiology unit has uncovered a disheartening pattern of misdiagnoses, poor protocols, and negligent care.

The report has unveiled a series of errors, including incorrectly programmed cochlear implants in children and even conducting hearing tests on infants who were asleep.

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The clinic, the only public option for many patients in north Queensland, was poorly organised, with staff overworking and significant protocol breaches. 

“(Key protocols) did not appear to be followed, leading to poor outcomes, monitoring, measurement, and reporting”, said the report.

The state government has announced a compensation package exceeding $2.2 million for 97 affected patients requiring additional testing and follow-up care due to these errors. 

However, the repercussions for many patients may extend to lifelong developmental delays, as Townsville Hospital and Health Service CEO Kieran Keyes acknowledged.

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“We continue to investigate records on a risk basis and will continue to do that into the foreseeable future,” he said. 

The incidents have prompted the Queensland government to offer payments to affected families.

Around 40 families of severely impacted children were being offered $50,000 each, and 58 children recalled for additional testing were provided $5,000 each, even though these payments do not prevent further legal actions.

Mr Keyes said it was “destabilising and pretty shattering” to have the community’s confidence in the service rocked.

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