Griffin Report into Prince Charles Hospital released
Published Monday, 30 August, 2021 at 03:28 PM
Minister for Health and Ambulance Services
The Honourable Yvette D'Ath
An independent report into the events surrounding an unvaccinated staff member working near The Prince Charles Hospital COVID-19 ward has been released.
The Report found that the administrative worker who became infected whilst working as a concierge staff member outside of the COVID-19 ward in June did not breach the Public Health Direction that was in force at the time.
Health Minister Yvette D’Ath said the report by Dr Paul Griffin and Ms Katherine Taylor identifies opportunities for improved infection control procedures in hospitals treating COVID patients.
“We’ve never seen anything like COVID-19 before and with different variants it continues to change and become more transmissible,” the Minister said.
“It’s important we take every opportunity to learn and adapt, with work already underway to enhance infection control practices in our hospitals.
“The report makes a number of recommendations around the limiting of entry points, signage and swipe card access procedures in COVID wards.
“These recommendations are already being implemented at Prince Charles Hospital.
“Queensland Health and Metro North Hospital and Health Service (MNHHS) have considered all of report’s findings and already commenced work to enhance infection control practices.
“Importantly, the report noted a high level of understanding and compliance with infection control procedures and found no wrongdoing by MNHHS or any staff member.
“But there’ll always be areas where we can improve our response, and that’s what we’re doing.”
The report by Dr Griffin and Ms Taylor found:
- no evidence MNHHS, or any individual, failed to comply with the Interim Infection Prevention and Control Guidelines for the management of COVID-19 in Health Care Settings Chief Health Officer Direction
- MNHHS had the appropriate policies, procedures and practices needed to comply with the Direction with respect to movement of patients, staff and third parties
- MNHHS had the appropriate policies, procedures and practices needed to comply with the Direction with respect to vaccination of workers
- MNHHS officers had an appropriate level of knowledge of, and compliance with, the policies and procedures for working in a COVID-19 ward
- some opportunities to strengthen infection control, both at MNHHS and in the public health system as a whole.
- a limiting of entry points to COVID-19 wards, and where it’s not practical to limit to one entry, placement of a concierge and improvements to signage at the alternate entries
- consideration being given to mandating the COVID-19 vaccination for all workers in proximity of COVID-19 wards, such as those who work in the same building
- additional measures to ensure electronic swiping into and out the COVID-19 ward is as accurate as possible, for example, by not swiping others into the ward as an act of courtesy.
Minister D’Ath said Queensland’s COVID-treating hospitals already had very high vaccination rates amongst staff with 77 per cent fully vaccinated and 83 per cent partially vaccinated.
“Importantly, the report confirmed no unvaccinated staff member had entered the COVID-19 ward at The Prince Charles Hospital,” the Minister said.
“In recent weeks we have seen the tragic consequences of transmission on COVID-19 within hospitals interstate, so I call on all Queenslanders, especially our few remaining Hospital and Health Service staff across the state to come forward and get vaccinated.”
A copy of the report is available on the Queensland Health website at https://www.health.qld.gov.au/research-reports/reports/review-investigation/hsi-report-metro-north-covid-19-ward-operation