Barwon Health unreservedly apologises for the distress caused by the delay and the manner in which the family was notified of their relative’s death.
Barwon Health has been in contact with Victoria Police and we are awaiting advice regarding the internal communication between the police involved in the initial notification to police at the time of the patient’s death and the police involved in the coroner’s case.
Barwon Health has confirmed that on 20 September, a man was brought to University Hospital Geelong after a medical emergency and subsequently died.
The staff in the Emergency Department made multiple attempts to contact the next of kin listed in the patient’s previous medical record.
The police were notified at the time of the patient’s death.
As the case was an unexpected death and the relatives could not be contacted, the matter was referred to the coroner. Once referred to the coroner, it is the role of the police and the coroner to work together to notify the family. The patient was transferred to the coroner’s mortuary in Melbourne the day after his death.
The police also attempted to contact the next of kin, and we are advised that they attended the last known address of the next of kin.
The Emergency Department staff also contacted the patient’s listed GP.
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