On Christmas 2021, a 59-year-old man was found dead in his kitchen at a construction site in Ørsta.
Now the state administrator has decided that Ørsta municipality has exceeded the demand for better health services.
The man weighed 36 kg when he was very emaciated.
The state administrator feels that the municipality has not taken enough steps to prevent this. They write that they were unable to find any assessments in the patient record of possible solutions and personal support measures related to nutrition.
Criticism for the help he received
The family believed that the death could have been avoided if the mentally ill person had received better help.
He actually came close to death in 2020. Then the bank card stopped working and could not buy food. After neighbors and family raised concerns, emergency services rushed out. They broke the window and entered the house.
There they found a very thin man. He weighed 37.5 kg before admission to the hospital. After his hospital stay, he spent several weeks in the hospital trying to lose weight. After admission, the municipal health team visited him several times at home.
In December 2021, the man died of a heart attack, severely underweight.
The family criticizes the help he received and believes the health system should have forced him into hospital. The man cut off all contact with family and friends years ago and isolated himself.
– There is no doubt that my brother did not get the help he needed. Health workers were notified several times by neighbors and family, says Asbjorn Langstøil.
Now he hopes the municipality will learn from this case.
– should be extended further
The municipality has now come under fire from the state administrator for not taking action after the hospital stay. Based on the man’s history, they can expect him to have new, major health challenges.
“We believe that the municipality should have gone further to ensure that the decedent received appropriate healthcare during the period of discharge from the nursing home,” the report said.
They also conclude that health and care services in the municipality are not sufficiently aware of potential changes in the patient’s ability to consent. They write in the report that the municipality did not have a conscious approach to arrest the development of a situation where the patient’s life was at risk.
Ørsta Municipality has responded that the person is deemed competent to consent and cannot force him to receive help he does not want. He was clear about how he wanted to live his life and that they should respect that.
Not adequately documented
The state administrator has also initiated vigilance proceedings against the doctor. The conclusion there was that he had not violated the Act on Proper Health Care, but that he had violated the requirement to keep adequate records.
The state administrator believes the doctor did not adequately document how he evaluated the man’s consent in the patient’s medical record.
The mayor of Ørsta, Stein Am (Sp), says that they should spend time on the report and find out what is wrong.
– It’s regrettable and a bit dramatic from the municipality’s point of view, says yes.
Ørsta Municipality must now comment on how to continue to follow up concerns for vulnerable residents. Before NRK, a woman with mental illness in the municipality told how staff kept medicine at her door because she was afraid to go out.
The state administrator invites the municipality to a meeting in the fall, where they will be asked to present the plan.
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